one of the horny structures forming the principal covering of birds, consisting typically of a hard, tubular portion attached to the body and tapering into a thinner, stemlike portion bearing a series of slender, barbed processes that interlock to form a flat structure on each side.
kind; character; nature: two boys of the same feather.
something like a feather, as a tuft or fringe of hair.
something very light, small, or trivial: Your worry is a mere feather.
Archery. one of the vanes at the tail of an arrow or dart.
Carpentry. a spline for joining the grooved edges of two boards.
Masonry. See under plug and feathers.
a featherlike flaw, especially in a precious stone.
Machinery. feather key.
to provide with feathers, as an arrow.
to clothe or cover with or as with feathers.
Rowing. to turn (an oar) after a stroke so that the blade becomes nearly horizontal, and hold it thus as it is moved back into position for the next stroke.
to change the blade angle of (a propeller) so that the chords of the blades are approximately parallel to the line of flight.
to turn off (an engine) while in flight.
to grow feathers.
to be or become feathery in appearance.
to move like feathers.
Rowing. to feather an oar.
feather into, South Midland U.S. to attack (a person, task, or problem) vigorously.
Idioms about feather
a feather in one's cap, a praiseworthy accomplishment; distinction; honor: Being chosen class president is a feather in her cap.
birds of a feather. bird (def. 15).
feather one's nest, to take advantage of the opportunities to enrich oneself: The mayor had used his term of office to feather his nest.
in fine / high feather, in good form, humor, or health: feeling in fine feather.
ruffle someone's feathers, to anger, upset, or annoy (another person).
smooth one's ruffled / rumpled feathers, to regain one's composure; become calm: After the argument, we each retired to our own rooms to smooth our ruffled feathers.
- feath·er·less, adjective
- feath·er·less·ness, noun
- feath·er·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use feather in a sentence
You can build your archery equipment with a sharp fixed-blade knife, some paracord, a flexible sapling, a few tree shoots for arrows, and a few feathers.This essential survival tool can save your life 10 different ways | By Tim MacWelch/Outdoor Life | September 15, 2020 | Popular-Science
Perched and upright, the birds pointed their bills upwards, fluffed their feathers and stopped moving.This hummingbird survives cold nights by nearly freezing itself solid | Jonathan Lambert | September 8, 2020 | Science News
Their feathers or scales have multiple layers of intricate micro- or nanostructures to absorb light.Superblack fish can disappear in the deep sea’s darkness | Erin Garcia de Jesus | August 10, 2020 | Science News For Students
The fossil find further suggests that Microraptor, which lived 120 million years ago, may have shed only a few feathers at a time — just like modern songbirds, researchers report July 16 in Current Biology.This dinosaur may have shed its feathers like modern songbirds | Carolyn Gramling | July 16, 2020 | Science News
In a never-before-seen particle, four quarks of a feather flock together.This is the first known particle with four of the same kind of quark | Maria Temming | July 7, 2020 | Science News
And then having done that why did it actually feather, when apparently no crew command was given.
People touched the yellow feather shroud, singing “Indian Red” as the transfer of the coffin to the vehicle was done.Mardi Gras Indian Chief Larry Bannock’s Final Ride | Jason Berry | May 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Cessna landed like a feather on Bettles Field, a long, flat airstrip built by the Navy during World War II.Visiting the Arctic Circle…Before It’s Irreversibly Changed | Terry Greene Sterling | April 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
feather had recorded as a pianist, and although he would never put Oscar Peterson out of business, he knew his sharps and flats.Music Criticism Has Degenerated Into Lifestyle Reporting | Ted Gioia | March 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But Cruz and Paul are speaking to significantly different audiences, despite being wacko birds of a feather.Ted Cruz Might Just Have Won the Future for the GOP | Nick Gillespie | September 25, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Clean your tube regularly, and your amber mouthpiece with a feather dipped in spirits of lavender.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
Edna was sitting on the tabouret, idly brushing the tips of a feather duster along the carpet when he came in again.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
Around her throat was a white feather boa, while her features were half concealed by the veil she wore.The Doctor of Pimlico | William Le Queux
Have both a feather bed and a mattress upon the bedstead, that she may place whichever she prefers uppermost.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness | Florence Hartley
He wore a cock feather over his ear, and on his head a diadem set with enormous gems.Honey-Bee | Anatole France
British Dictionary definitions for feather
any of the flat light waterproof epidermal structures forming the plumage of birds, each consisting of a hollow shaft having a vane of barbs on either side. They are essential for flight and help maintain body temperature
something resembling a feather, such as a tuft of hair or grass
a bird's feather or artificial substitute fitted to an arrow to direct its flight
the feathered end of an arrow, opposite the head
a strip, spline, or tongue of wood fitted into a groove
the wake created on the surface of the water by the raised periscope of a submarine
rowing the position of an oar turned parallel to the water between strokes: Compare square (def. 8)
a step in ballroom dancing in which a couple maintain the conventional hold but dance side by side
condition of spirits; fettle: in fine feather
something of negligible value; jot: I don't care a feather
birds of a feather people of the same type, character, or interests
feather in one's cap a cause for pleasure at one's achievements: your promotion is a feather in your cap
not take a feather out of someone or not knock a feather out of someone Irish to fail to upset or injure someone: it didn't take a feather out of him
(tr) to fit, cover, or supply with feathers
rowing to turn (an oar) parallel to the water during recovery between strokes, principally in order to lessen wind resistance: Compare square (def. 41)
(in canoeing) to turn (a paddle) parallel to the direction of the canoe between strokes, while keeping it in the water, principally in order to move silently
to change the pitch of (an aircraft propeller) so that the chord lines of the blades are in line with the airflow
(tr) to join (two boards) by means of a tongue-and-groove joint
(intr) (of a bird) to grow feathers
(intr) to move or grow like feathers
feather one's nest to provide oneself with comforts, esp financial
- See also feathers
- featherless, adjective
- feather-like, adjective
- feathery, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for feather
One of the light, flat structures that cover the skin of birds. A feather is made of a horny substance and has a narrow, hollow shaft bearing flat vanes formed of many parallel barbs. The barbs of outer feathers are formed of even smaller structures (called barbules) that interlock. The barbs of down feathers do not interlock. Evolutionarily, feathers are modified scales, first seen in certain dinosaurs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with feather
In addition to the idioms beginning with feather
- feather in one's cap, a
- feather one's nest
- birds of a feather
- fuss and feathers
- in fine feather
- knock down with a feather
- light as a feather
- make the dust (feathers) fly
- ruffle someone's feathers
- show the white feather
- tar and feather
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.