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See more synonyms for feeder on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that supplies food or feeds something.
  2. a bin or boxlike device from which farm animals may eat, especially such a device designed to allow a number of chickens to feed simultaneously or to release a specific amount of feed at regular intervals.
  3. a person or thing that takes food or nourishment.
  4. a livestock animal that is fed an enriched diet to fatten it for market.Compare stocker(def 2).
  5. a person or device that feeds a machine, printing press, etc.
  6. a tributary stream.
  7. bird feeder.
  8. feeder line.
  9. feeder road.
  10. Also feed. Electricity. a conductor, or group of conductors, connecting primary equipment in an electric power system.
  11. British. a baby's bib.
  12. Theater Slang. straight man.
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  1. being, functioning as, or serving as a feeder.
  2. pertaining to livestock to be fattened for market.
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Origin of feeder

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at feed, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for feeder

sidekick, rancher, peasant, laborer, producer, grower, tender, reaper, gardener, agriculturist, clodhopper, horticulturist, villein, homesteader, gleaner, feeder, planter, agriculturalist, cropper, sower

Examples from the Web for feeder

Contemporary Examples of feeder

Historical Examples of feeder

  • If the human body is a furnace, then the Zen body is a feeder pile.


    Jerome Bixby

  • The cement bin and feeder is the small one in the foreground.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • Back of this is shown the feeder for sand or gravel up to 2-in.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • Of the two fragments, the smaller was militarily important only as a feeder to the other.

    Admiral Farragut

    A. T. Mahan

  • It used to follow its feeder about, and displayed a most inoffensive disposition.

British Dictionary definitions for feeder


  1. a person or thing that feeds or is fed
  2. a child's feeding bottle or bib
  3. agriculture, mainly US and Canadian a head of livestock being fattened for slaughter
  4. a person or device that feeds the working material into a system or machine
  5. a tributary channel, esp one that supplies a reservoir or canal with water
    1. a road, service, etc, that links secondary areas to the main traffic network
    2. (as modifier)a feeder bus
    1. a transmission line connecting an aerial to a transmitter or receiver
    2. a power line for transmitting electrical power from a generating station to a distribution network
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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

Word Origin and History for feeder


early 15c., "one who feeds an animal;" 1560s, "one who eats;" agent noun from feed. As a mechanical apparatus, from 1660s. Of cattle and streams, by 1790s; of roads and railroads, by 1850s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper