noun, often attributive
feed·​er | \ ˈfē-dər How to pronounce feeder (audio) \

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 shad is sold as bait to sturgeon fishermen, who fish for the prehistoric-looking bottom-feeders in the deep pools behind the dams. Corey Arnold, National Geographic, "Why wild salmon remains king in the Pacific Northwest," 27 Mar. 2019 But he's focused on bringing his mother’s love of hummingbirds to life by building a bird bath with feeders, and growing specific plants, in order to attract the little creatures. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Blast from the past: This Glenmary home is a collector's paradise," 28 June 2018 The new species is a type of carpet shark, which are typically small-mouthed bottom feeders. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "A New Shark Species Was Found in the Mud of Sue the T. Rex," 21 Jan. 2019 The North Atlantic right whale is a baleen whale that uses a filter-feeder system to consume krill. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Is Limiting Noisier Activities to Protect an Endangered Whale," 15 Nov. 2018 Plants are heavy feeders, so be sure to feed the soil with rich compost or aged manure. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Growing Crisp Cucumbers," 12 July 2018 Apparently the Coombs children are natural kitten feeders! Saryn Chorney, PEOPLE.com, "'Steaming Hot' Cat Carrier on Side of Highway Packed with Kittens Found and Rescued by Good Samaritans," 31 May 2018 Rebuilding feeder patterns The district's transportation plan is part of an overall focus on retaining students. Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's far-reaching strategy to fill its schools," 29 May 2018 Students who would have attended Strawberry Mansion, at 31st Street and Ridge Avenue, for their freshman year will be routed to other options in consultation with their families, and feeder patterns will be redrawn, officials said. Philly.com, "Strawberry Mansion HS, nearly empty, is being phased out. What's next?," 27 Mar. 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

19 Jun 2019

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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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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

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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