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[feth -er-weyt] /ˈfɛð ərˌweɪt/
a boxer or other contestant intermediate in weight between a bantamweight and a lightweight, especially a professional boxer weighing up to 126 pounds (57 kg).
an insignificant person or thing:
He thinks he's a major composer, but he's just a featherweight.
belonging to the class of featherweights, especially in boxing.
extremely light in weight:
a featherweight quilt.
unimportant; trifling; slight.
Origin of featherweight
First recorded in 1805-15; feather + weight Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for featherweight
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With the featherweight the swing is very liable to get out of gear.

  • Some canoeists take with them a suit of featherweight oilskin.

    Packing and Portaging Dillon Wallace
  • That was not a difficult feat since she was but a featherweight.

  • I am not as strong as I once was so I bought a featherweight one.

  • Adams laughed, took the thing up with one hand, and raised it to his shoulder as though it had been a featherweight.

    The Pools of Silence H. de Vere Stacpoole
  • "I had no idea Americans were so romantic," said Lady Sellingworth, with just a touch of featherweight malice.

    December Love Robert Hichens
  • My stampede had carried his featherweight body a couple of yards, but it stopped me and I got my mind back, partly.

    The Big Time Fritz Reuter Leiber
  • She seemed only a featherweight when the bewildered doctor helped her to alight—an undoubted sprite and creature of romance.

    The Doctor's Family Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
British Dictionary definitions for featherweight


  1. something very light or of little importance
  2. (as modifier): featherweight considerations
  1. a professional boxer weighing 118–126 pounds (53.5–57 kg)
  2. an amateur boxer weighing 54–57 kg (119–126 pounds)
  3. (as modifier): the featherweight challenger
a wrestler in a similar weight category (usually 126–139 pounds (57–63 kg))
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for featherweight

also feather-weight, the lightest allowable, 1812 (earlier as simply feather, 1760), from feather (n.) + weight. Originally in horse-racing; boxing use dates from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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