feed·​er ˈfē-dər How to pronounce feeder (audio)
often attributive
: one that feeds: such as
: one that fattens livestock for slaughter
: a device or apparatus for supplying food
: one that eats or takes nourishment
especially : an animal being fattened or one suitable for fattening
: one that supplies, replenishes, or connects
: a heavy wire conductor supplying electricity at some point of an electric distribution system (as from a substation)
: branch
especially : a branch transportation line
: a road that provides access to a major artery

Examples of feeder in a Sentence

a pigeon feeder holding a bag of stale bread the lake has several feeders that have their headwaters near the Canadian border
Recent Examples on the Web Starting around 2010, the migrants would pay a feeder about sixteen hundred dollars to travel from Sudan to the north coast of Africa. Ed Caesar, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 The city aims to attract climate migrants, seeing them as a feeder of the economy, rather than a drag on it. Melanie Stetson Freeman, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Nov. 2023 The innovative bird feeder features an integrated camera that connects to the accompanying app to show video footage of birds eating at the feeder. Maria Conti, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 Sep. 2023 His late-career resurgence has been instrumental in the Diamondbacks’ leap from bottom feeders to title contenders. Jorge Castillo, Los Angeles Times, 26 Oct. 2023 Also, go for feeders with red parts to attract birds instead of nectar with red dye. WIRED, 20 Oct. 2023 These smokers are super efficient and rely upon a feeder to feed the pellets from a hopper to the combustion chamber. John Sass, Field & Stream, 27 Sep. 2023 Over the great operatic journey that is Mr. Chow’s life, can anything top the overture performed by this supremely self-confident, mildly abrasive, quasi-pugnacious but likable impresario-artist-actor and feeder of the elite? John Anderson, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2023 But a fault in the feeder line of the sprinkler system caused water to cascade over many of the batteries, damaging them. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'feeder.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of feeder was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near feeder

Cite this Entry

“Feeder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feeder. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


feed·​er ˈfēd-ər How to pronounce feeder (audio)
: a device for supplying food
bird feeder
: a branch (as of a river or a transportation system) that supplies or connects to another
: one that eats
especially : an animal being fattened or suitable for fattening

More from Merriam-Webster on feeder

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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