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Feather Definition


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Other Feather Definition

[n] turning an oar parallel to the water between pulls
[n] the light horny waterproof structure forming the external covering of birds
[v] grow feathers, of birds; "A fledgling sparrow fell out of its nest"
[v] turn the oar, while rowing
[v] turn the paddle; in canoeing
[v] cover or fit with feathers
[v] join tongue and groove, in carpentry

Misc. Definitions

\Feath"er\, n. [OE. fether, AS. fe?der; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj["o]?r, Sw. fj["a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ? wing, feather, ? to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feathr, pat to fly, and prob. to L. penna feather, wing. [root]76, 24
8. Cf. {Pen} a feather.]
1. One of the peculiar dermal appendages, of several kinds, belonging to birds, as contour feathers, quills, and down. 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 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.] I am not of that feather to shake off My friend when he must need me. --Shak.
3. The fringe of long hair on the legs of the setter and some other dogs.
4. A tuft of peculiar, long, frizzly hair on a horse.
5. One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow.
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.
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.
8. The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float, with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or enters the water. Note: Feather is used adjectively or in combination, meaning composed of, or resembling, a feather or feathers; as, feather fan, feather-heeled, feather duster. {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.
\Feath"er\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Feathered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Feathering.}]
1. To furnish with a feather or feathers, as an arrow or a cap. An eagle had the ill hap to be struck with an arrow feathered from her own wing. --L'Estrange.
2. To adorn, as with feathers; to fringe. A few birches and oaks still feathered the narrow ravines. --Sir W. Scott.
3. To render light as a feather; to give wings to.[R.] The Polonian story perhaps may feather some tedions hours. --Loveday.
4. To enrich; to exalt; to benefit. They stuck not to say that the king cared not to plume his nobility and people to feather himself. --Bacon. --Dryden.
5. To tread, as a cock. --Dryden. {To feather one's nest}, to provide for one's self especially from property belonging to another, confided to one's care; -- an expression taken from the practice of birds which collect feathers for the lining of their nests. {To feather an oar} (Naut), to turn it when it leaves the water so that the blade will be horizontal and offer the least resistance to air while reaching for another stroke. {To tar and feather a person}, to smear him with tar and cover him with feathers, as a punishment or an indignity.
\Feath"er\, v. i.
1. To grow or form feathers; to become feathered; -- often with out; as, the birds are feathering out.
2. To curdle when poured into another liquid, and float about in little flakes or ``feathers;'' as, the cream feathers [Colloq.]
3. To turn to a horizontal plane; -- said of oars. The feathering oar returns the gleam. --Tickell. Stopping his sculls in the air to feather accurately. --Macmillan's Mag.
4. To have the appearance of a feather or of feathers; to be or to appear in feathery form. A clump of ancient cedars feathering in evergreen beauty down to the ground. --Warren. The ripple feathering from her bows. --Tennyson.

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