[fee-cher] /ˈfi tʃər/

a prominent or conspicuous part or characteristic:
Tall buildings were a new feature on the skyline.
something offered as a special attraction:
This model has several added features.
Also called feature film. the main motion picture in a movie program:
What time is the feature?
any part of the face, as the nose, chin, or eyes:
prominent features.
features, the face; countenance:
to compose one’s features for the photographers.
the form or cast of the face:
delicate of feature.
a column, cartoon, etc., appearing regularly in a newspaper or magazine.
Archaic. make, form, or shape.
verb (used with object), featured, featuring.
to be a feature or distinctive mark of:
It was industrial expansion that featured the last century.
to make a feature of; give prominence to:
to feature a story or picture in a newspaper.
to delineate the main characteristics of; depict; outline.
Informal. to conceive of; imagine; fancy:
He couldn’t quite feature himself as a bank president.
Older Use. to resemble in features; favor.
verb (used without object), featured, featuring.
to play a major part.
any one of the parts of the face, such as the nose, chin, or mouth
a prominent or distinctive part or aspect, as of a landscape, building, book, etc
the principal film in a programme at a cinema
an item or article appearing regularly in a newspaper, magazine, etc: a gardening feature
Also called feature story. a prominent story in a newspaper, etc: a feature on prison reform
a programme given special prominence on radio or television as indicated by attendant publicity
an article offered for sale as a special attraction, as in a large retail establishment
(archaic) general form or make-up
(linguistics) a quality of a linguistic unit at some level of description: grammatical feature, semantic feature
(transitive) to have as a feature or make a feature of
to give prominence to (an actor, famous event, etc) in a film or (of an actor, etc) to have prominence in a film
(transitive) (US, informal) to imagine; consider: I can’t feature that happening

early 14c., “make, form, fashion,” from Anglo-French feture, from Old French faiture “deed, action; fashion, shape, form; countenance,” from Latin factura “a formation, a working,” from past participle stem of facere “make, do, perform” (see factitious). Sense of “facial characteristic” is mid-14c.; that of “any distinctive part” first recorded 1690s. Entertainment sense is from 1801; in journalism by 1855. Meaning “a feature film” is from 1913.

1755, “to resemble,” from feature (n.). The sense of “make special display or attraction of” is 1888; entertainment sense from 1897. Related: Featured; featuring.

1. A good property or behaviour (as of a program). Whether it was intended or not is immaterial.
2. An intended property or behaviour (as of a program). Whether it is good or not is immaterial (but if bad, it is also a misfeature).
3. A surprising property or behaviour; in particular, one that is purposely inconsistent because it works better that way – such an inconsistency is therefore a feature and not a bug. This kind of feature is sometimes called a miswart.
4. A property or behaviour that is gratuitous or unnecessary, though perhaps also impressive or cute. For example, one feature of Common LISP’s “format” function is the ability to print numbers in two different Roman-numeral formats (see bells, whistles, and gongs).
5. A property or behaviour that was put in to help someone else but that happens to be in your way.
6. A bug that has been documented. To call something a feature sometimes means the author of the program did not consider the particular case, and that the program responded in a way that was unexpected but not strictly incorrect. A standard joke is that a bug can be turned into a feature simply by documenting it (then theoretically no one can complain about it because it’s in the manual), or even by simply declaring it to be good. “That’s not a bug, that’s a feature!” is a common catch-phrase. Apparently there is a Volkswagen Beetle in San Francisco whose license plate reads “FEATURE”.
See also feetch feetch, creeping featurism, wart, green lightning.
The relationship among bugs, features, misfeatures, warts and miswarts might be clarified by the following hypothetical exchange between two hackers on an airliner:
A: “This seat doesn’t recline.”
B: “That’s not a bug, that’s a feature. There is an emergency exit door built around the window behind you, and the route has to be kept clear.”
A: “Oh. Then it’s a misfeature; they should have increased the spacing between rows here.”
B: “Yes. But if they’d increased spacing in only one section it would have been a wart – they would’ve had to make nonstandard-length ceiling panels to fit over the displaced seats.”
A: “A miswart, actually. If they increased spacing throughout they’d lose several rows and a chunk out of the profit margin. So unequal spacing would actually be the Right Thing.”
B: “Indeed.”
“Undocumented feature” is a common euphemism for a bug.
7. An attribute or function of a class in Eiffel.
[Jargon File]


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    [Possibly from slang “creature feature” for a horror movie] 1. One who loves to add features to designs or programs, perhaps at the expense of coherence, concision or taste. 2. Alternately, a mythical being that induces otherwise rational programmers to perpetrate such crocks. See also feeping creaturism, creeping featurism. [Jargon File]

  • Feature creep

    creeping featurism

  • Featurectomy

    /fee”ch*r-ek”t*-mee/ The act of removing a feature from a program. Featurectomies come in two flavours, the “righteous” and the “reluctant”. Righteous featurectomies are performed because the remover believes the program would be more elegant without the feature, or there is already an equivalent and better way to achieve the same end. (Doing so is not […]

  • Featured

    [fee-cherd] /ˈfi tʃərd/ adjective 1. made a or highlight; given prominence: a featured article; a featured actor. 2. having or a certain kind of (usually used in combination): a well-featured face. 3. Obsolete. formed; fashioned. [fee-cher] /ˈfi tʃər/ noun 1. a prominent or conspicuous part or characteristic: Tall buildings were a new feature on the […]

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