Feather bed

Feather bed
Feather Feath"er (f[e^][th]"[~e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS. fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj["o][eth]r, Sw. fj["a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero`n wing, feather, pe`tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather, pat to fly, and prob. to L. penna feather, wing. [root]76, 248. Cf. {Pen} a feather.] 1. One of the peculiar dermal appendages, of several kinds, belonging to birds, as contour feathers, quills, and down. [1913 Webster]

Note: An ordinary feather consists of the quill or hollow basal part of the stem; the shaft or rachis, forming the upper, solid part of the stem; the vanes or webs, implanted on the rachis and consisting of a series of slender lamin[ae] or barbs, which usually bear barbules, which in turn usually bear barbicels and interlocking hooks by which they are fastened together. See {Down}, {Quill}, {Plumage}.

2. Kind; nature; species; -- from the proverbial phrase, ``Birds of a feather,'' that is, of the same species. [R.] [1913 Webster]

I am not of that feather to shake off My friend when he must need me. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. The fringe of long hair on the legs of the setter and some other dogs. [1913 Webster]

4. A tuft of peculiar, long, frizzly hair on a horse. [1913 Webster]

5. One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow. [1913 Webster]

6. (Mach. & Carp.) A longitudinal strip projecting as a fin from an object, to strengthen it, or to enter a channel in another object and thereby prevent displacement sidwise but permit motion lengthwise; a spline. [1913 Webster]

7. A thin wedge driven between the two semicylindrical parts of a divided plug in a hole bored in a stone, to rend the stone. --Knight. [1913 Webster]

8. The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float, with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or enters the water. [1913 Webster]

Note: Feather is used adjectively or in combination, meaning composed of, or resembling, a feather or feathers; as, feather fan, feather-heeled, feather duster. [1913 Webster]

{Feather alum} (Min.), a hydrous sulphate of alumina, resulting from volcanic action, and from the decomposition of iron pyrites; -- called also {halotrichite}. --Ure.

{Feather bed}, a bed filled with feathers.

{Feather driver}, one who prepares feathers by beating.

{Feather duster}, a dusting brush of feathers.

{Feather flower}, an artifical flower made of feathers, for ladies' headdresses, and other ornamental purposes.

{Feather grass} (Bot.), a kind of grass ({Stipa pennata}) which has a long feathery awn rising from one of the chaffy scales which inclose the grain.

{Feather maker}, one who makes plumes, etc., of feathers, real or artificial.

{Feather ore} (Min.), a sulphide of antimony and lead, sometimes found in capillary forms and like a cobweb, but also massive. It is a variety of Jamesonite.

{Feather shot}, or {Feathered shot} (Metal.), copper granulated by pouring into cold water. --Raymond.

{Feather spray} (Naut.), the spray thrown up, like pairs of feathers, by the cutwater of a fast-moving vessel.

{Feather star}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Comatula}.

{Feather weight}. (Racing) (a) Scrupulously exact weight, so that a feather would turn the scale, when a jockey is weighed or weighted. (b) The lightest weight that can be put on the back of a horse in racing. --Youatt. (c) In wrestling, boxing, etc., a term applied to the lightest of the classes into which contestants are divided; -- in contradistinction to {light weight}, {middle weight}, and {heavy weight}.

{A feather in the cap} an honour, trophy, or mark of distinction. [Colloq.]

{To be in full feather}, to be in full dress or in one's best clothes. [Collog.]

{To be in high feather}, to be in high spirits. [Collog.]

{To cut a feather}. (a) (Naut.) To make the water foam in moving; in allusion to the ripple which a ship throws off from her bows. (b) To make one's self conspicuous. [Colloq.]

{To show the white feather}, to betray cowardice, -- a white feather in the tail of a cock being considered an indication that he is not of the true game breed. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • feather-bed — ˌfeather ˈbed f10 [feather bed feather beds feather bedded feather bedding] verb ( dd )feather bed sb/sth (BrE …   Useful english dictionary

  • feather bed — ► NOUN ▪ a bed with a mattress stuffed with feathers. ► VERB (feather bed) ▪ provide with excessively favourable economic or working conditions …   English terms dictionary

  • feather bed — n. a strong cloth container thickly filled with feathers or down, used as a mattress …   English World dictionary

  • feather bed — noun a mattress stuffed with feathers • Syn: ↑featherbed • Hypernyms: ↑mattress * * * noun Etymology: Middle English fetherbed, from fether feather + bed ( …   Useful english dictionary

  • feather-bed —    to grant excessive indulgence towards    The derivation possibly comes from the Rock Island Railroad whose train crews complained of hard bunks and were thereupon asked if they wanted feather beds (Holt, 1961). A feather bed soldier in… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • feather bed — noun a bed with a mattress stuffed with feathers. verb (feather bed) provide with excessively favourable economic or working conditions …   English new terms dictionary

  • feather bed — feather mattress, bed having a feather mattress …   English contemporary dictionary

  • feather bed — noun Date: before 12th century 1. a feather mattress 2. a bed having a feather mattress …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • feather bed — a mattress or a bed cover, as a quilt, stuffed with soft feathers. [bef. 1000; ME, OE] * * * …   Universalium

  • feather bed — feath′er bed′ n. a mattress stuffed with soft feathers • Etymology: bef. 1000 …   From formal English to slang