/ˈfɛðə / (say 'fedhuh)

1. one of the epidermal appendages which together constitute the plumage of birds, being typically made up of a hard, tubelike portion (the quill) attached to the body of the bird, which passes into a thinner, stemlike distal portion (the rachis) bearing a series of slender processes (barbs) which unite in a bladelike structure (web) on each side.
2. plumage.
3. attire.
4. kind or character: birds of a feather flock together.
5. something like a feather, as a tuft or fringe of hair.
6. a feather-like flaw, as in a precious stone.
7. Archery
a. a feather or feathers attached to the nock (rear) end of an arrow to direct its flight.
b. the feathered end or string end of an arrow.
8. something very light, weak, or small.
9. Rowing the act of feathering.
verb (t)
10. to provide with feathers, as an arrow.
11. to clothe or cover with, or as with, feathers.
12. Rowing to turn (an oar) after a stroke so that the blade becomes nearly horizontal, and hold it thus as it is moved back into position for the next stroke.
13. Aeronautics to stop (an engine) and hold its propeller in a position that offers least wind resistance.
14. to touch the controls of (a machine) lightly so as to cause it to respond gently and evenly.
15. Shooting to shoot feathers off (a bird) without killing it.
verb (i)
16. to grow feathers.
17. to be or become feathery in appearance.
18. (of a wave off the shore) to break very slowly, developing a white cap.
19. to move like feathers.
20. Rowing to feather an oar.
21. a feather in one's cap, a mark of distinction; an honour. {Phrase Origin: from the practice of awarding a feather to a soldier who had killed an enemy such as the white ostrich feathers awarded to the Prince of Wales at the Battle of Crécy, 1346}
22. feather one's nest, to provide for or enrich oneself.
23. in fine feather, in excellent health and spirits.
24. in full feather,
a. (of a bird) with all its adult plumage.
b. decked out in one's best clothes, formal uniform, etc.
25. in high feather, in a state of great excitement.
26. make the feathers fly, to cause confusion; create disharmony.
27. show the white feather, to show cowardice. {Phrase Origin: from cockfighting, where the presence of a white feather in a cock's tail indicated lesser breeding and supposedly inferior fighting ability}
{Middle English and Old English fether; distantly related to Greek pteron wing}
featherless, adjective
feather-like, adjective

Australian English dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Feather — Feath er (f[e^][th] [ e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS. fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj[ o][eth]r, Sw. fj[ a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero n wing, feather, pe tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather, pat to fly, and prob.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • feather — [feth′ər] n. [ME fether < OE; akin to Ger feder < IE base * pet , to fall, fly > Gr pteron, wing, piptein, L petere, to fall, Sans pátati, (he) flies] 1. Zool. any of the growths covering the body of a bird or making up a large part of… …   English World dictionary

  • Feather — Feath er, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Feathered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Feathering.}] 1. To furnish with a feather or feathers, as an arrow or a cap. [1913 Webster] An eagle had the ill hap to be struck with an arrow feathered from her own wing. L Estrange.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • feather — ► NOUN ▪ any of the flat appendages growing from a bird s skin, consisting of a partly hollow horny shaft fringed with vanes of barbs. ► VERB 1) rotate the blades of (a propeller) to lessen the air or water resistance. 2) (feathered) covered or… …   English terms dictionary

  • Feather — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Leonard Feather (1914–1994), britischer Jazzautor, musiker und produzent Lorraine Feather (* 1948), US amerikanische Jazzsängerin und Songwriterin Tiny Feather (1902–1975), US amerikanischer American… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Feather — Feath er, v. i. 1. To grow or form feathers; to become feathered; often with out; as, the birds are feathering out. [1913 Webster] 2. To curdle when poured into another liquid, and float about in little flakes or feathers; as, the cream feathers …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • feather — [n] tuft of bird; plumage calamus, crest, down, fin, fluff, fringe, penna, pinion, pinna, plume, plumule, pompon, quill, shaft, spike, wing; concept 399 …   New thesaurus

  • Feather — For other uses, see Feather (disambiguation). Feather variations Feathers are one of the epidermal growths that form the distinctive outer covering, or plumage, on birds and some theropod dinosaurs. They are considered the most complex… …   Wikipedia

  • feather — featherless, adj. featherlessness, n. featherlike, adj. /fedh euhr/, n. 1. one of the horny structures forming the principal covering of birds, consisting typically of a hard, tubular portion attached to the body and tapering into a thinner,… …   Universalium

  • feather — {{11}}feather (n.) O.E. feðer feather, in plural, wings, from P.Gmc. *fethro (Cf. O.S. fethara, O.N. fioþr, Swed. fjäder, M.Du. vedere, Du. veder, O.H.G. fedara, Ger. Feder), from PIE *petra , zero degree *ptera wing …   Etymology dictionary

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