Definitions for: Feather


[n] turning an oar parallel to the water between pulls
[n] the light horny waterproof structure forming the external covering of birds
[v] grow feathers, of birds; "A fledgling sparrow fell out of its nest"
[v] turn the oar, while rowing
[v] turn the paddle; in canoeing
[v] cover or fit with feathers
[v] join tongue and groove, in carpentry



Webster (1913) Definition: Feath"er, n. [OE. fether, AS. fe?der; akin to D.
veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj["o]?r, Sw. fj["a]der,
Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ? wing, feather, ? to fly, Skr. pattra
wing, feathr, pat to fly, and prob. to L. penna feather,
wing. [root]76, 248. Cf. Pen a feather.]
1. One of the peculiar dermal appendages, of several kinds,
belonging to birds, as contour feathers, quills, and down.

Note: An ordinary feather consists of the quill or hollow
basal part of the stem; the shaft or rachis, forming
the upper, solid part of the stem; the vanes or webs,
implanted on the rachis and consisting of a series of
slender lamin[ae] or barbs, which usually bear
barbicels and interlocking hooks by which they are
fastened together. See Down, Quill, Plumage.

2. Kind; nature; species; -- from the proverbial phrase,
``Birds of a feather,'' that is, of the same species. [R.]

I am not of that feather to shake off My friend when
he must need me. --Shak.

3. The fringe of long hair on the legs of the setter and some
other dogs.

4. A tuft of peculiar, long, frizzly hair on a horse.

5. One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow.

6. (Mach. & Carp.) A longitudinal strip projecting as a fin
from an object, to strengthen it, or to enter a channel in
another object and thereby prevent displacement sidwise
but permit motion lengthwise; a spline.

7. A thin wedge driven between the two semicylindrical parts
of a divided plug in a hole bored in a stone, to rend the
stone. --Knight.

8. The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float,
with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or
enters the water.

Note: Feather is used adjectively or in combination, meaning
composed of, or resembling, a feather or feathers; as,
feather fan, feather-heeled, feather duster.

Feather alum (Min.), a hydrous sulphate of alumina,
resulting from volcanic action, and from the decomposition
of iron pyrites; -- called also halotrichite. --Ure.

Feather bed, a bed filled with feathers.

Feather driver, one who prepares feathers by beating.

Feather duster, a dusting brush of feathers.

Feather flower, an artifical flower made of feathers, for
ladies' headdresses, and other ornamental purposes.

Feather grass (Bot.), a kind of grass (Stipa pennata)
which has a long feathery awn rising from one of the
chaffy scales which inclose the grain.

Feather maker, one who makes plumes, etc., of feathers,
real or artificial.

Feather ore (Min.), a sulphide of antimony and lead,
sometimes found in capillary forms and like a cobweb, but
also massive. It is a variety of Jamesonite.

Feather shot, or Feathered shot (Metal.), copper
granulated by pouring into cold water. --Raymond.

Feather spray (Naut.), the spray thrown up, like pairs of
feathers, by the cutwater of a fast-moving vessel.

Feather star. (Zo["o]l.) See Comatula.

Feather weight. (Racing)
(a) Scrupulously exact weight, so that a feather would
turn the scale, when a jockey is weighed or weighted.
(b) The lightest weight that can be put on the back of a
horse in racing. --Youatt.
(c) In wrestling, boxing, etc., a term applied to the
lightest of the classes into which contestants are
divided; -- in contradistinction to light weight,
middle weight, and heavy weight.

A feather in the cap an honour, trophy, or mark of
distinction. [Colloq.]

To be in full feather, to be in full dress or in one's best
clothes. [Collog.]

To be in high feather, to be in high spirits. [Collog.]

To cut a feather.
(a) (Naut.) To make the water foam in moving; in allusion
to the ripple which a ship throws off from her bows.
(b) To make one's self conspicuous. [Colloq.]

To show the white feather, to betray cowardice, -- a white
feather in the tail of a cock being considered an
indication that he is not of the true game breed.


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.

An eagle had the ill hap to be struck with an arrow
feathered from her own wing. --L'Estrange.

2. To adorn, as with feathers; to fringe.

A few birches and oaks still feathered the narrow
ravines. --Sir W.
Scott.

3. To render light as a feather; to give wings to.[R.]

The Polonian story perhaps may feather some tedions
hours. --Loveday.

4. To enrich; to exalt; to benefit.

They stuck not to say that the king cared not to
plume his nobility and people to feather himself.
--Bacon.
--Dryden.

5. To tread, as a cock. --Dryden.

To feather one's nest, to provide for one's self especially
from property belonging to another, confided to one's
care; -- an expression taken from the practice of birds
which collect feathers for the lining of their nests.

To feather an oar (Naut), to turn it when it leaves the
water so that the blade will be horizontal and offer the
least resistance to air while reaching for another stroke.


To tar and feather a person, to smear him with tar and
cover him with feathers, as a punishment or an indignity.


Feath"er, v. i.
1. To grow or form feathers; to become feathered; -- often
with out; as, the birds are feathering out.

2. To curdle when poured into another liquid, and float about
in little flakes or ``feathers;'' as, the cream feathers
[Colloq.]

3. To turn to a horizontal plane; -- said of oars.

The feathering oar returns the gleam. --Tickell.

Stopping his sculls in the air to feather
accurately. --Macmillan's
Mag.

4. To have the appearance of a feather or of feathers; to be
or to appear in feathery form.

A clump of ancient cedars feathering in evergreen
beauty down to the ground. --Warren.

The ripple feathering from her bows. --Tennyson.

Synonyms: feathering, fledge, plumage, plume, square

See Also: acquire, aftershaft, alula, animal material, bastard wing, bird, body covering, calamus, ceratin, conjoin, contour feather, cover, develop, down, down feather, flight feather, get, grow, hackle, join, keratin, marabou, melanin, paddle, pinion, produce, quill, quill feather, rotation, row, row, rowing, scapular, shaft, spurious wing, vane, web

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