1

featherbed

adjective feath·er·bed \ ˈfe-t͟hər-ˌbed \

Definition of featherbed

: calling for, sanctioning, or resulting from featherbedding
  • a featherbed rule
  • a featherbed job

First Known Use of featherbed

1938

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

2

featherbed

verb

Definition of featherbed

1 a : to require that more workers be hired than are needed
b : to limit production under a featherbed rule
2 : to do featherbed work or put in time under a featherbed rule
1 : to bring under a featherbed rule
2 : to assist (something, such as an industry) by government aid

First Known Use of featherbed

1949

in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

feather bed

noun

Definition of feather bed

1 : a feather mattress
2 : a bed having a feather mattress

Recent Examples of feather bed from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'feather bed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of feather bed

before 12th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

FEATHERBED Defined for English Language Learners

feather bed

Definition of feather bed for English Language Learners

  • : a bed with a mattress that is filled with feathers


Learn More about featherbed


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to coax or persuade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • spring-flowers
  • Which is a synonym of raillery?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!