noun, often attributive
feed·er | \ ˈfē-dər \

Definition of feeder 

1 : one that feeds: such as

a : one that fattens livestock for slaughter

b : a device or apparatus for supplying food

2 : one that eats or takes nourishment especially : an animal being fattened or one suitable for fattening

3a : one that supplies, replenishes, or connects

b : tributary sense 1

c : a heavy wire conductor supplying electricity at some point of an electric distribution system (as from a substation)

d : branch especially : a branch transportation line

e : a road that provides access to a major artery

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for feeder


affluent, bayou, branch, tributary


distributary, effluent

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

But no other nation can match the reach and depth of the American softball feeder system. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Why U.S. Softball Wants to Make Its Opponents Better," 4 June 2018 At the time, the Nationwide Tour was the primary feeder system for the PGA Tour. Jeff Duncan, NOLA.com, "After 15 years of trying, Covington golf pro Michael Arnaud finally wins big," 24 May 2018 Sunnyvale is reasonably close to the San Francisco and San Jose airports, and less than 10 miles from that redoubtable tech feeder, Stanford University. Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, "The scramble for Sunnyvale: Tech companies in ‘arms race’ for office space," 12 May 2018 Some of it gets consumed by fish and other animals swimming around in the water column, but there’s generally enough left over for some of it to fall down to the seafloor and nourish bottom feeders, such as clams and other shellfish. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Arctic Sea Ice Is Getting Younger. Here Is Why That Is a Problem.," 11 May 2018 And even pet tech costs took a leap, as evidenced by the plethora of activity trackers, smart feeders, and video monitors on the market. Sunset, "Americans Are Spending More on Pets Than Ever Before," 22 Jan. 2018 Cyclists used Highway 90 and the Interstate 10 feeder road heading east. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "Triathlon comes home to Katy with new features," 10 July 2018 Emoni went to Clague Middle School, which, is a feeder to either Ann Arbor Huron or Skyline for high school. Perry A. Farrell, Detroit Free Press, "Why top basketball prospect Emoni Bates will attend Ypsilanti Lincoln," 7 July 2018 Columbia Business School remains a feeder to the financial sector, for instance. Pat Minczeski, WSJ, "Why Banks Are Losing the Battle for M.B.A. Talent," 6 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of feeder

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about feeder

Statistics for feeder

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for feeder

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for feeder



English Language Learners Definition of feeder

: a device for supplying food to animals

: a person who supplies food for animals

: a road, railway, etc., that connects to a larger road, railway, etc.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on feeder

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


an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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