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Full-fledged, fully fledged

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  • Fledge is a rare verb meaning (1) to care for (a young bird) until it’s ready to fly, and (2) to grow the plumage necessary for flight. So the phrasal adjective full-fledged and the adjectival phrase fully fledged logically mean having just reached full development, though in practice the terms often mean just full or fully without the connotations of newness.

     

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    There are a couple of issues worth noting here. One is that, as a phrasal adjective, full-fledged usually takes a hyphen. This hyphenated form is preferred in the U.S. and Canada, while the unhyphenated fully fledged is preferred outside North America.

    Second, full-fledge is a misspelling. It could make sense if fledge were a noun or an adjective, but the word is conventionally only a verb. So when full-fledged is an adjective, fledged should always be a past participle.

    Examples

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    Full-fledged

    When medical students are handed their diplomas, they are technically full-fledged doctors. [New York Times Well blog]

    Scientists believe their growth was stunted by Jupiter’s gravitational pull and never had the chance to become full-fledged planets. [AP]

    He set out to change MF Global from a midsize derivatives broker to full-fledged investment bank. [Wall Street Journal]

    Fully fledged

    Few photographers in Britain have reached fully fledged celeb status. [Financial Times]

    Up the steep carpeted stairs the whole thing broadens out into a fully fledged restaurant at the top. [Irish Times]

    He returned as a fully fledged communist who would soon be in demand to teach Marxism to the guerillas of the FARC. [Sydney Morning Herald]

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    Comments

    1. ddc

    2. this is not real fuck

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