tar and feather (someone)
Definition of tar and feather (someone)
1 : to cover (someone) with tar and then with feathers as an old-fashioned punishment
2 informal : to punish (someone) very severely If I don't get home in time, Mom will tar and feather me.
Word by Word Definitions
: a dark brown or black bituminous usually odorous viscous liquid obtained by destructive distillation of organic material (such as wood, coal, or peat)
: a substance in some respects resembling tar
: a condensable residue present in smoke from burning tobacco that contains combustion by-products (such as resins, acids, phenols, and essential oils)
: to cover with tar
: to defile as if with tar
: any of the light, horny, epidermal outgrowths that form the external covering of the body of birds ◆Feathers include the smaller down feathers and the larger contour and flight feathers. Larger feathers consist of a shaft (rachis ) bearing branches (barbs ) which bear smaller branches (barbules ). These smaller branches bear tiny hook-bearing processes (barbicels ) which interlock with the barbules of an adjacent barb to link the barbs into a continuous stiff vane . Down feathers lack barbules, resulting in fluffy feathers which provide insulation below the contour feathers.
: the vane of an arrow
: to furnish (as an arrow) with a feather
: to cover, clothe, or adorn with or as if with feathers
: to turn (an oar blade) almost horizontal when lifting from the water at the end of a stroke to reduce air resistance
: some person : somebody
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