- a symbol of cowardice.
- show the white feather, to behave in a cowardly manner.
Origin of white feather
Examples from the Web for white feather
Historical Examples of white feather
As soon as they were out of sight Jake took up the white-feather trail.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
On your knees, White-feather; on your knees, and much louder.St. Winifred's
Frederic W. Farrar
But tell me,’ she added, with still deeper anxiety, ‘does the white-feather come alone?The Young Fur Traders
Three more civilians, wearing the white-feather symbol on their overcoats, advanced toward Winfree.The Great Potlatch Riots
Allen Kim Lang
Not one of them would shew even the faintest tip of the white-feather.
- a symbol or mark of cowardice
- show the white feather to act in a cowardly manner
Word Origin for white feather
as a symbol of cowardice, 1785, supposedly from game-cocks, "where having a white feather, is proof he is not of the true game breed" [Grose].
see show the white feather.