white feather


Definition of white feather

: a mark or symbol of cowardice used chiefly in the phrase show the white feather

Examples of white feather in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Sharing a behind-the-scenes photo on Instagram, Lupita revealed her look for the night: a gorgeous, white feathered Oscar de la Renta gown. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lupita Nyong'o Skipped the Oscars Red Carpet, But Stunned in a Feathered Gown," 25 Feb. 2019 This hat has so many fun features — the contrasting band, the open knot, the asymmetrical shape — but the best part has to be the white feather that adds several more inches to the topper's wingspan. Marci Robin, Allure, "The 30 Best Fascinators and Hats Worn by Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall," 6 Aug. 2018 Their bodies are covered with soft, white feathers; colored skin on their heads forms a black mask and red cap. Washington Post, "Louisiana’s whooping crane comeback: 5 chicks this year," 13 July 2018 Delicate and adorned with wispy white feathers that wouldn’t come cheap, this aigrette (the French word for egret) would rest atop the head of a rich and fashionable society figure. Angela Serratore, Smithsonian, "Keeping Feathers Off Hats–And On Birds," 15 May 2018 To make the humans happy, the screeching white feather balls got names. Tom Leyden, Indianapolis Star, "Whitehead and Webster, Downtown's new peregrine falcon bros," 5 June 2018 Never one to shy away from festive headpieces, Camilla also wore a cream hat covered in white feathers. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Camilla Parker Bowles Just Wore the Most Eccentric Hat We've Ever Seen," 16 May 2018 Kylie is making the look her own, as well, as the look was actually worn as a top (with a white feathered skirt) on the designer's spring runway. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Wore a Celine Dress in New York City," 9 May 2018 Hens with white feathers and white ear lobes lay white eggs. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Eggs: What you need to know about size, color and type," 22 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white feather.' 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 white feather

circa 1785, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for white feather

from the superstition that a white feather in the plumage of a gamecock is a mark of a poor fighter

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Statistics for white feather

Last Updated

29 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for white feather

The first known use of white feather was circa 1785

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More from Merriam-Webster on white feather

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with white feather

Comments on white feather

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


an act or instance of returning to life

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