View synonyms for feed


[ feed ]

verb (used with object)

, fed, feed·ing.
  1. to give food to; supply with nourishment:

    to feed a child.

    Synonyms: sustain, nourish

    Antonyms: starve

  2. to yield or serve as food for:

    This land has fed 10 generations.

    Synonyms: sustain, nourish

    Antonyms: starve

  3. to provide as food.
  4. to furnish for consumption.
  5. to satisfy; minister to; gratify:

    Poetry feeds the imagination.

    Synonyms: bolster, encourage, support, nurture

  6. to supply for maintenance or operation, as to a machine:

    to feed paper into a photocopier.

  7. to provide with the necessary materials for development, maintenance, or operation:

    to feed a printing press with paper.

  8. to use (land) as pasture.
  9. Theater Informal.
    1. to supply (an actor, especially a comedian) with lines or action, the responses to which are expected to elicit laughter.
    2. to provide cues to (an actor).
    3. Chiefly British. to prompt:

      Stand in the wings and feed them their lines.

  10. Radio and Television. to distribute (a local broadcast) via satellite or network.

verb (used without object)

, fed, feed·ing.
  1. (especially of animals) to take food; eat:

    cows feeding in a meadow; to feed well.

  2. to be nourished or gratified; subsist:

    to feed on grass; to feed on thoughts of revenge.


  1. food, especially for farm animals, as cattle, horses or chickens.
  2. an allowance, portion, or supply of such food.
  3. Informal. a meal, especially a lavish one.
  4. the act of feeding.
  5. the act or process of feeding a furnace, machine, etc.
  6. the material, or the amount of it, so fed or supplied.
  7. a feeding mechanism.
  8. Electricity. feeder ( def 10 ).
  9. Theater Informal.
    1. a line spoken by one actor, the response to which by another actor is expected to cause laughter.
    2. an actor, especially a straight man, who provides such lines.
  10. a local television broadcast distributed by satellite or network to a much wider audience, especially nationwide or international.
  11. Digital Technology.
    1. a website or application that publishes updates from social media or news-collection websites in reverse chronological order:

      I follow all of the latest celebrity gossip in my Twitter feed.

    2. an XML-based web document that is updated automatically at predetermined intervals and includes descriptive titles or short descriptions and links to recent pages on a website:

      Subscribe to news feeds to get the latest news from around the world.


/ fiːd /


  1. to give food to

    to feed the cat

  2. to give as food

    to feed meat to the cat

  3. intr to eat food

    the horses feed at noon

  4. to provide food for

    these supplies can feed 10 million people

  5. to provide what is necessary for the existence or development of

    to feed one's imagination

  6. to gratify; satisfy

    to feed one's eyes on a beautiful sight

  7. also intr to supply (a machine, furnace, etc) with (the necessary materials or fuel) for its operation, or (of such materials) to flow or move forwards into a machine, etc
  8. to use (land) as grazing
  9. informal.
    theatre to cue (an actor, esp a comedian) with lines or actions
  10. sport to pass a ball to (a team-mate)
  11. electronics to introduce (electrical energy) into a circuit, esp by means of a feeder
  12. also intr; foll by on or upon to eat or cause to eat


  1. the act or an instance of feeding
  2. food, esp that of animals or babies
  3. the process of supplying a machine or furnace with a material or fuel
  4. the quantity of material or fuel so supplied
  5. computing a facility allowing web users to receive news headlines and updates on their browser from a website as soon as they are published
  6. the rate of advance of a cutting tool in a lathe, drill, etc
  7. a mechanism that supplies material or fuel or controls the rate of advance of a cutting tool
  8. informal.
    theatre a performer, esp a straight man, who provides cues
  9. informal.
    a meal

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Derived Forms

  • ˈfeedable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • feeda·ble adjective
  • outfeed verb (used with object) outfed outfeeding
  • re·feed verb refed refeeding
  • un·feeda·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of feed1

First recorded before 950; Middle English feden, Old English fēdan; cognate with Gothic fōdjan, Old Saxon fōdian. See food

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Word History and Origins

Origin of feed1

Old English fēdan ; related to Old Norse fœtha to feed, Old High German fuotan , Gothic fōthjan ; see food , fodder

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. chain feed, to pass (work) successively into a machine in such a manner that each new piece is held in place by or connected to the one before.
  2. off one's feed, Slang.
    1. reluctant to eat; without appetite.
    2. dejected; sad.
    3. not well; ill.

More idioms and phrases containing feed

  • bite the hand that feeds you
  • chicken feed
  • off one's feed
  • put on the feed bag

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Synonym Study

Feed, fodder, forage, provender mean food for animals. Feed is the general word: pig feed; chicken feed. Fodder is especially applied to dry or green feed, as opposed to pasturage, fed to horses, cattle, etc.: fodder for winter feeding; Cornstalks are good fodder. Forage is food that an animal obtains (usually grass, leaves, etc.) by searching about for it: Lost cattle can usually live on forage. Provender denotes dry feed, such as hay, oats, or corn: a supply of provender in the haymow and corn cribs.

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Example Sentences

Either way, rooting politics out of the news feed is itself a political move.

From Axios

While cable or satellite feeds could always go out, an internet outage feels more common, and some sort of technical issue can feel almost inevitable.

From Digiday

She recalls posting a pattern for homemade masks in her community’s feed, at the start of the pandemic in March, only to receive a slew of angry comments in response.

From Vox

The following are some of the best cuts from the full interview, which you can find on the show’s podcast feed.

From Ozy

A number of studies suggest that the more time we spend scrolling through social feeds without actively engaging, the more likely we are to experience depression and other negative effects of comparing ourselves to others.

The group puts out most of its statements—on its Twitter feed, or its numerous websites—in Arabic, as opposed to Baluchi or Farsi.

The city protests that a beach is not a suitable place to feed the hungry.

Certainly his twitter feed regarding the news of Havana and Washington speaks volumes.

But it is certainly possible that police officers could unknowingly feed suspects information.

And, according to an October post his feed, the school allegedly issued a second order of hospitalization for him.

Mrs. Jolly Robin had often wished—when she was trying to feed a rapidly-growing family—that she could hunt forp.

And since he was glad enough to do that, Mrs. Robin managed to feed her children all they needed.

Everywhere cattle were being sold for a trifle, as there was no grass upon which they could feed.

And, old ink pot, tuck a horse blanket under my chin, and rub me down with brickbats while I feed!

One little girl attempted to smell at the trees in a drawing and pretended to feed some pictorial dogs.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




feeble-mindedFeed a cold; starve a fever