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
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

The Duchess of Cambridge held an engagement at a community garden in Islington, England to make bird feeders and cooked pizza with primary school students, today. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Child Asked Kate Middleton If The Queen Eats Pizza and Her Reaction Was Perfect," 15 Jan. 2019 District 2 is a top feeder, and under the mayor’s plan, hundreds of its students would lose spots, by city data. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "Parents at Packed Meeting Oppose Proposal to Change Admissions at City’s Elite Public High Schools," 4 Dec. 2018 Plant in a Large Container Ginger is a heavy feeder and an even heavier drinker that needs a lot of room to grow. Sharon Tregaskis, Good Housekeeping, "The Easiest Way to Grow Ginger at Home," 29 July 2018 And the feeder system that sends the league players isn’t helping. Laura Mcgann, Vox, "Urban Meyer and Ohio State care more about a game than victims of domestic violence," 31 Aug. 2018 Your sugar water feeders will help keep them fed this fall, but there are also some plants that are especially good nectar sources. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "The plants that will attract fall hummingbirds, butterflies," 13 July 2018 The Tomcat club, a feeder program for East Aurora High School, is also anticipating hosting a girls state championship in East Aurora in the coming year, Zepeda said. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "'Ten years ago, you'd never dream of doing this': Girls wrestling gaining popularity," 11 July 2018 Robert was a fixture in his yard, always filling his bird feeders. Evan Allen, BostonGlobe.com, "‘She was going through a lot of pain, a lot of suffering’," 26 June 2018 Alligators are opportunistic feeders that will eat what is readily available and easily overpowered. CBS News, "Homeowner's association sent alligator warning days before deadly attack," 11 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

30 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for feeder

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on feeder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with feeder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for feeder

Spanish Central: Translation of feeder

Nglish: Translation of feeder for Spanish Speakers

Comments on feeder

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