Feathers



[feth -er] /ˈfɛð ər/

noun
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, stemlike portion bearing a series of slender, barbed processes that interlock to form a flat structure on each side.
2.
kind; character; nature:
two boys of the same feather.
3.
something like a feather, as a tuft or fringe of hair.
4.
something very light, small, or trivial:
Your worry is a mere feather.
5.
Archery. one of the vanes at the tail of an arrow or dart.
6.
Carpentry. a spline for joining the grooved edges of two boards.
7.
Masonry. See under .
8.
a featherlike flaw, especially in a precious stone.
9.
Machinery. .
10.
Archaic. .
11.
Obsolete. .
verb (used with object)
12.
to provide with feathers, as an arrow.
13.
to clothe or cover with or as with feathers.
14.
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.
15.
Aeronautics.

verb (used without object)
16.
to grow feathers.
17.
to be or become in appearance.
18.
to move like feathers.
19.
Rowing. to feather an oar.
Verb phrases
20.
feather into, South Midland U.S. to attack (a person, task, or problem) vigorously.
Idioms
21.
a feather in one’s cap, a praiseworthy accomplishment; distinction; honor:
Being chosen class president is a feather in her cap.
22.
birds of a feather. (def 15).
23.
feather one’s nest, to take advantage of the opportunities to enrich oneself:
The mayor had used his term of office to feather his nest.
24.
in fine / high feather, in good form, humor, or health:
feeling in fine feather.
25.
ruffle someone’s feathers, to anger, upset, or annoy (another person).
26.
smooth one’s ruffled / rumpled feathers, to regain one’s composure; become calm:
After the argument, we each retired to our own rooms to smooth our ruffled feathers.
noun
1.
an apparatus for splitting stone, consisting of two tapered bars (feathers) inserted into a hole drilled into the stone, between which a narrow wedge (plug) is hammered to spread them.
/ˈfɛðəz/
plural noun
1.
the plumage of a bird
2.
Also called feathering. the long hair on the legs or tail of certain breeds of horses and dogs
3.
(informal) dress; attire: her best feathers
4.
ruffle feathers, to cause upset or offence
/ˈfɛðə/
noun
1.
any of the flat light waterproof epidermal structures forming the plumage of birds, each consisting of a hollow shaft having a vane of barbs on either side. They are essential for flight and help maintain body temperature
2.
something resembling a feather, such as a tuft of hair or grass
3.
(archery)

4.
a strip, spline, or tongue of wood fitted into a groove
5.
the wake created on the surface of the water by the raised periscope of a submarine
6.
(rowing) the position of an oar turned parallel to the water between strokes Compare square (sense 8)
7.
a step in ballroom dancing in which a couple maintain the conventional hold but dance side by side
8.
condition of spirits; fettle: in fine feather
9.
something of negligible value; jot: I don’t care a feather
10.
birds of a feather, people of the same type, character, or interests
11.
feather in one’s cap, a cause for pleasure at one’s achievements: your promotion is a feather in your cap
12.
(Irish) not take a feather out of someone, not knock a feather out of someone, to fail to upset or injure someone: it didn’t take a feather out of him
verb
13.
(transitive) to fit, cover, or supply with feathers
14.
(rowing) to turn (an oar) parallel to the water during recovery between strokes, principally in order to lessen wind resistance Compare square (sense 41)
15.
(in canoeing) to turn (a paddle) parallel to the direction of the canoe between strokes, while keeping it in the water, principally in order to move silently
16.
to change the pitch of (an aircraft propeller) so that the chord lines of the blades are in line with the airflow
17.
(transitive) to join (two boards) by means of a tongue-and-groove joint
18.
(intransitive) (of a bird) to grow feathers
19.
(intransitive) to move or grow like feathers
20.
feather one’s nest, to provide oneself with comforts, esp financial
n.

Old English feðer “feather,” in plural, “wings,” from Proto-Germanic *fethro (cf. Old Saxon fethara, Old Norse fioþr, Swedish fjäder, Middle Dutch vedere, Dutch veder, Old High German fedara, German Feder), from PIE *pet-ra-, from root *pet- “to rush, to fly” (see petition (n.)). Feather-headed “silly” is from 1640s. Feather duster attested by 1858. Figurative use of feather in (one’s) cap attested by 1734.
v.

Old English fiðerian “to furnish with feathers or wings,” from feðer (see feather (n.)). Meaning “to fit (an arrow) with feathers” is from early 13c.; that of “to deck, adorn, or provide with plumage” is from late 15c. In reference to oars (later paddles, propellers, etc.) from 1740. Phrase feather one’s nest “enrich oneself” is from 1580s. Related: Feathered; feathering.
feather
(fě’ər)

One of the light, flat structures that cover the skin of birds. A feather is made of a horny substance and has a narrow, hollow shaft bearing flat vanes formed of many parallel barbs. The barbs of outer feathers are formed of even smaller structures (called barbules) that interlock. The barbs of down feathers do not interlock. Evolutionarily, feathers are modified scales, first seen in certain dinosaurs.

Related Terms

horsefeathers

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  • Featherstitch

    [feth -er-stich] /ˈfɛð ərˌstɪtʃ/ noun 1. an embroidery stitch producing work in which a succession of branches extend alternately on each side of a central stem. verb (used with object) 2. to ornament by featherstitch. /ˈfɛðəˌstɪtʃ/ noun 1. a zigzag embroidery stitch verb 2. to decorate (cloth) with featherstitch

  • Feather-tract

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