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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for feeder


affluent, bayou, branch, confluent, influent, tributary


distributary, effluent

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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

His product is part of a growing industry of gadgets for pets that includes GPS trackers, automatic feeders, ball throwing machines for dogs to fetch, and self-cleaning litter boxes for cats. Adam Pemble, The Seattle Times, "A dog’s life: fitness trackers help put fat pets on a diet," 20 Aug. 2018 Boston has seven schools that screen — all high schools — including the prestigious Boston Latin School, a feeder for Harvard University that has an entrance exam akin to New York’s specialized high school test. New York Times, "A Shadow System of Tracking by School Feeds Segregation," 17 June 2018 The transformation – from bottom-feeder to playoff team – was accomplished after four-plus months of (mostly) impressive hockey. Sam Carchidi, Philly.com, "Flyers show resilience to go from patsies to a playoff berth | Sam Carchidi," 7 Apr. 2018 The key will be limiting second-chance points, something Ohio State did well last week against Illinois -- another Big Ten bottom feeder that's better than its record indicates and is one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Bill Landis, cleveland.com, "Ohio State basketball vs. Iowa preview: TV info, key players, stats, prediction," 10 Feb. 2018 Instead, the Heat proved to be a middling team, barely above average, neither skilled enough nor consistent enough to land a top four seed, let alone beat the league’s bottom feeders consistently. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "The Heat's offseason begins. The Dolphins' is at its peak. Each has looming questions | Miami Herald," 25 Apr. 2018 An 18-wheeler crashed off a North Loop feeder, landing partially off a bridge and spilling its load of produce into the bayou below, according to Metro Video. Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, "18-wheeler carrying produce overturns in NE Houston," 13 July 2018 Catfish are bottom feeders, often eating dead fish, and the artful stink bait maker’s goal is to create a scent that will attract the whisker fish in the dark summer waters. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "The cats come out at night," 23 June 2018 Early in the season, these mites are pollen feeders, then become predaceous as more prey develops, according to 2012 research at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Tiny mites leave red stains," 15 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.

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First Known Use of feeder

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for feeder

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for feeder

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

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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.

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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).


by force of circumstances

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