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

Birds rely on these food sources most heavily during the colder months, so don't let the temperatures outside discourage you from refilling your feeders. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How Birds Stay Warm in the Winter, In Case You Were Wondering," 1 Feb. 2019 Everything from bottom-feeder, milk-fetching econo-boxes to snooty luxury coupes has a turbo these days. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "This Breakthrough Digital Valvetrain Is Brain Surgery for Car Engines," 6 Nov. 2018 Audubon recommends mixed seeds or black oil sunflower seeds for attracting chickadees and finches and hanging a suet feeder for woodpeckers. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How Birds Stay Warm in the Winter, In Case You Were Wondering," 1 Feb. 2019 The other is to keep food sources such as garbage, pet food and bird feeders out of their reach. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "A bear spooked shoppers in Charlotte. It's the latest in a string of sightings.," 27 June 2018 Perrie has extensively researched the Unionville feeder canal of 1828 that powered the early mill manufacturers as well as other local power canals that provided hydropower. Courant Community, "Community News For The Valley Edition," 26 June 2018 Ricciardo started in Formula One with Toro Rosso — Red Bull’s feeder team — in 2012 and joined Red Bull two years later when the team was coming off four consecutive world championships with Sebastian Vettel. Joseph Wilson, The Seattle Times, "Ricciardo eager to ‘grow’ at Renault after Red Bull exit," 19 Feb. 2019 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

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

27 Mar 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).


something valued as if it were money

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