see also: Feather
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈfɛð.ə(ɹ)/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈfɛð.ɚ/

feather (plural feathers)

  1. A branching, hair-like structure that grows on the bodies of birds, used for flight, swimming, protection and display.
    • 1873, W. K. Brooks, "A Feather", Popular Science Monthly, volume IV, page 687
      Notice, too, that the shaft is not straight, but bent so that the upper surface of the feather is convex, and the lower concave.
  2. Long hair on the lower legs of a dog or horse, especially a draft horse, notably the Clydesdale breed. Narrowly only the rear hair.
  3. One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow.
  4. A longitudinal strip projecting from an object to strengthen it, or to enter a channel in another object and thereby prevent displacement sideways but permit motion lengthwise; a spline.
  5. Kind; nature; species (from the proverbial phrase "birds of a feather").
    • c. 1605–1608, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Tymon of Athens”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      I am not of that feather to shake off / My friend when he must need me.
  6. One of the two shims of the three-piece stone-splitting tool known as plug and feather or plug and feathers; the feathers are placed in a borehole and then a wedge is driven between them, causing the stone to split.
  7. The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float, with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or enters the water.
  8. Anything petty or trifling; a whit or jot.
    • 1823, An Ecclesiastical Memoir of Essex Street Religious Society
      To some pew purchasers he gave deeds, to others he gave, none, but both were promised security, and both it seems were equally secure, for the pew deed as Mr. Melledge declared to Mr. G. was not worth a feather.
  9. (hunting, in the plural) Partridges and pheasants, as opposed to rabbits and hares (called fur).
Synonyms Antonyms
  • (horse hair at rear of lower legs) spats
Translations Translations Verb

feather (feathers, present participle feathering; past and past participle feathered)

  1. To cover or furnish with feathers.
    • An eagle had the ill hap to be struck with an arrow feathered from her own wing.
  2. To arrange in the manner or appearance of feathers.
    The stylist feathered my hair.
  3. (ambitransitive, rowing) To rotate the oars while they are out of the water to reduce wind resistance.
  4. (aeronautics) To streamline the blades of an aircraft's propeller by rotating them perpendicular to the axis of the propeller when the engine is shut down so that the propeller does not windmill during flight.
    After striking the bird, the pilot feathered the left, damaged engine’s propeller.
  5. (carpentry, engineering) To finely shave or bevel an edge.
  6. (computer graphics) To intergrade or blend the pixels of an image with those of a background or neighboring image.
  7. To adorn, as with feathers; to fringe.
    • 1816, Jedadiah Cleishbotham [pseudonym; Walter Scott], chapter II, in Tales of My Landlord, [...] In Four Volumes, volume II (Old Mortality), Edinburgh: Printed [by James Ballantyne and Co.] for William Blackwood, […]; London: John Murray, […], OCLC 230697985 ↗, page 28 ↗:
      A few birches and oaks still feathered the narrow ravines, or occupied in dwarf clusters the hollow plains of the moor.
  8. To render light as a feather; to give wings to.
    • The Polonian story, which perhaps may feather some tedious hours.
  9. To enrich; to exalt; to benefit.
    • 1622, Francis, Lord Verulam, Viscount St. Alban [i.e. Francis Bacon], The Historie of the Raigne of King Henry the Seventh, […], London: Printed by W[illiam] Stansby for Matthew Lownes, and William Barret, OCLC 1086746628 ↗:
      They stuck not to say that the king cared not to plume his nobility and people to feather himself.
  10. To tread, as a cock.
  11. (snooker) To accidentally touch the cue ball with the tip of the cue when taking aim
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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