Meaning of FEATHER in English


I. ˈfe-thər noun

Etymology: Middle English fether, from Old English; akin to Old High German federa wing, Latin petere to go to, seek, Greek petesthai to fly, piptein to fall, pteron wing

Date: before 12th century


a. : any of the light horny epidermal outgrowths that form the external covering of the body of birds and that consist of a shaft bearing on each side a series of barbs which bear barbules which in turn bear barbicels commonly ending in hooked hamuli and interlocking with the barbules of an adjacent barb to link the barbs into a continuous vane

b. archaic : plume 2a

c. : the vane of an arrow


a. : plumage

b. : kind , nature

birds of a feather flock together

c. : attire , dress

d. : condition , mood

woke up in fine feather

e. plural : composure

some feather s had been ruffled — D. J. Blum

3. : feathering 2

4. : a projecting strip, rib, fin, or flange

5. : a feathery flaw in the eye or in a precious stone

6. : the act of feathering an oar

• feath·ered -thərd adjective

• feath·er·less adjective

- a feather in one's cap


feather 1a: A: 1 quill, 2 vane; B: 1 barb, 2 barbule, 3 barbicel with hamulus


II. verb

( feath·ered ; feath·er·ing ˈfeth-riŋ, ˈfe-thə-)

Date: 13th century

transitive verb


a. : to furnish (as an arrow) with a feather

b. : to cover, clothe, or adorn with or as if with feathers


a. : to turn (an oar blade) almost horizontal when lifting from the water at the end of a stroke to reduce air resistance


(1) : to change the angle of (airplane propeller blades) so that the chords become approximately parallel to the line of flight ; also : to change the angle of airplane propeller blades of (an engine) in such a manner

(2) : to change the angle of (a rotor blade of a rotorcraft) periodically in forward flight

3. : to reduce the edge of to a featheredge

4. : to cut (as air) with or as if with a wing

5. : to join by a tongue and groove

6. : to hit, throw, pass, or shoot softly and usually with precision

feather ed a perfect lob over the net

intransitive verb

1. : to grow or form feathers

2. : to have or take on the appearance of a feather or something feathered

3. : to soak in and spread : blur — used of ink or a printed impression

4. : to feather an oar or an airplane propeller blade

- feather one's nest

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.