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.
  1. being, functioning as, or serving as a feeder.
  2. pertaining to livestock to be fattened for market.

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

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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper