Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
foundling (plural foundlings)
- An abandoned child, left by its parent(s), often a baby left at a convent or similar safe place.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling.
1776, Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations:
- In foundling hospitals, and among the children brought up by parish charities, the mortality is still greater than among those of the common people.
abandoned child, left by its parent