- feather [feth′ər]n.[ME fether < OE; akin to Ger feder < IE base * pet-, to fall, fly > Gr pteron, wing, piptein, L petere, to fall, Sans pátati, (he) flies]1. Zool. any of the growths covering the body of a bird or making up a large part of the wing surface, as down or contour feathers: a typical contour feather consists of a horny central shaft, partly hollow, from which light, soft, narrow barbs, with interlocking barbules and barbicels, extend to form a thin, flat surface2. a feather or featherlike part fastened to the shaft of an arrow to help control its flight3. anything like or suggesting a feather or feathers in appearance, lightness, etc., asa) a trifleb) a projecting part, esp. for fitting into a groovec) an irregular flaw in a gemd) the fringe of hair along the tail and along the back of the legs of some dogs4. [pl.] Archaica) plumageb) attire; dress5. class; kind [enthusiasts of every feather]6. frame of mind; temper; vein7. the act of feathering an oar or propellervt.1. to provide (an arrow, etc.) with a feather2. to cover, fit, or fringe with or as with feathers3. to give a featheredge to4. to join by inserting a wedge-shaped part into a groove5. to turn (the blade of an oar) parallel to the line of movement in recovering after a stroke, so as to offer the least resistance to air or water6.a) to turn (the blade of a propeller) on its shaft so that its leading and trailing edges are nearly parallel with the airplane's line of flight, thus preventing engine damage caused by airflow turning the propeller during an engine failureb) to change the angle of the blades of a helicopter rotorvi.1. to grow, or become covered with, feathers2. to move, grow, or extend like feathers3. to look like feathers4. to feather an oar or propeller——————feather in one's capa distinctive accomplishment; achievement worthy of pride——————feather one's nestto grow rich by taking advantage of circumstances——————in featherfeathered——————in fine feather or in high feather or in good featherin very good humor, health, or formfeatherlessadj.
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.