feather

33 ENTRIES FOUND:

1feath·er

noun \ˈfe-thər\

: any one of the light growths that make up the outer covering of the body of a bird

Full Definition of FEATHER

1
a :  any of the light horny epidermal outgrowths that form the external covering of the body of birds and that consist of a shaft bearing on each side a series of barbs which bear barbules which in turn bear barbicels commonly ending in hooked hamuli and interlocking with the barbules of an adjacent barb to link the barbs into a continuous vane
b archaic :  plume 2a
c :  the vane of an arrow
2
a :  plumage
b :  kind, nature <birds of a feather flock together>
c :  attire, dress
d :  condition, mood <woke up in fine feather>
e plural :  composure <some feathers had been ruffled — D. J. Blum>
3
:  feathering 2
4
:  a projecting strip, rib, fin, or flange
5
:  a feathery flaw in the eye or in a precious stone
6
:  the act of feathering an oar
feath·ered \-thərd\ adjective
feath·er·less adjective
a feather in one's cap
:  a mark of distinction :  honor

Examples of FEATHER

  1. <the two brothers are sports-obsessed jocks, and most of their friends are of the same feather>
  2. <prom couples strutted into the ballroom in full feather>

Illustration of FEATHER

Origin of FEATHER

Middle English fether, from Old English; akin to Old High German federa wing, Latin petere to go to, seek, Greek petesthai to fly, piptein to fall, pteron wing
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Birds Terms

aerie, bunting, clutch, covey, hackle, ratite, rictus, ruff, skein, zygodactyl

Rhymes with FEATHER

2feather

verb

: to put a feather in or on (something)

feath·eredfeath·er·ing \ˈfeth-riŋ, ˈfe-thə-\

Full Definition of FEATHER

transitive verb
1
a :  to furnish (as an arrow) with a feather
b :  to cover, clothe, or adorn with or as if with feathers
2
a :  to turn (an oar blade) almost horizontal when lifting from the water at the end of a stroke to reduce air resistance
b (1) :  to change the angle of (airplane propeller blades) so that the chords become approximately parallel to the line of flight; also :  to change the angle of airplane propeller blades of (an engine) in such a manner
(2) :  to change the angle of (a rotor blade of a rotorcraft) periodically in forward flight
3
:  to reduce the edge of to a featheredge
4
:  to cut (as air) with or as if with a wing
5
:  to join by a tongue and groove
6
:  to hit, throw, pass, or shoot softly and usually with precision <feathered a perfect lob over the net>
intransitive verb
1
:  to grow or form feathers
2
:  to have or take on the appearance of a feather or something feathered
3
:  to soak in and spread :  blur —used of ink or a printed impression
4
:  to feather an oar or an airplane propeller blade
feather one's nest
:  to provide for oneself especially financially by unethically exploiting a position of trust

First Known Use of FEATHER

13th century

Feath·er

geographical name \ˈfe-thər\

Definition of FEATHER

river 100 miles (161 kilometers) N cen California flowing S into Sacramento River

feath·er

noun \ˈfeth-ər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of FEATHER

: one of the light horny epidermal outgrowths that form the external covering of the body of birds and that consist of a shaft bearing on each side a series of barbs which bear barbules which in turn bear barbicels commonly ending in the hooked processes and interlocking with the barbules of an adjacent barb to link the barbs into a continuous vane
feath·ered \-ərd\ adjective

feather

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Structures of a typical contour feather. The feather's central shaft (rachis) has a series of …—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Component structure of the outer covering and flight surfaces of all modern birds. Unique to birds, feathers apparently evolved from the scales of birds' reptilian ancestors. Like hair, feathers are made of keratin, a fibrous protein. They are variously specialized for insulation, flight, formation of body contours, display, and sensory reception. Contour feathers form most of the surface of the bird, streamlining it for flight and often waterproofing it. The basal portion may be downy and thus act as insulation. The major contour feathers of the wing (remiges) and tail (rectrices) function in flight. Contour feathers grow in tracts (pterylae) separated by bare areas (apteria) and develop from follicles in the skin. Down feathers have loose-webbed barbs, all rising from the tip of a very short shaft. Their function is insulation, and they may be found in both pterylae and apteria in adult birds. They also constitute the first feather coat of most young birds. Filoplumes are hairlike feathers with a few soft barbs near the tip. They are associated with contour feathers and may be sensory or decorative in function. Bristlelike, vaneless feathers occur around the mouth, eyes, and nostrils of birds. Some bristles function as eyelashes on ground-dwelling birds; bristles over the nostrils may serve as filters.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: feather alum
Previous Word in the Dictionary: feat (adjective)
All Words Near: feather

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up feather? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).