• WordNet 3.6
    • v feather grow feathers "The young sparrows are fledging already"
    • v feather turn the oar, while rowing
    • v feather turn the paddle; in canoeing
    • v feather cover or fit with feathers
    • v feather join tongue and groove, in carpentry
    • n feather turning an oar parallel to the water between pulls
    • n feather the light horny waterproof structure forming the external covering of birds
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Child Finds the Feather Dress The Child Finds the Feather Dress
Fine feathers make fine birds Fine feathers make fine birds
partridge feathers partridge feathers
Spread Feather grew more and more pleased with himself Spread Feather grew more and more pleased with himself
A crinoid or feather-star A crinoid or feather-star

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A chicken loses its feathers when it becomes stressed
    • Feather (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.
    • Feather A thin wedge driven between the two semicylindrical parts of a divided plug in a hole bored in a stone, to rend the stone.
    • Feather A tuft of peculiar, long, frizzly hair on a horse.
    • Feather Kind; nature; species; -- from the proverbial phrase, “Birds of a feather,” that is, of the same species. "I am not of that feather to shake off
      My friend when he must need me."
    • Feather One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow.
    • Feather One of the peculiar dermal appendages, of several kinds, belonging to birds, as contour feathers, quills, and down.
    • Feather The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float, with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or enters the water.
    • Feather The fringe of long hair on the legs of the setter and some other dogs.
    • Feather To adorn, as with feathers; to fringe. "A few birches and oaks still feathered the narrow ravines."
    • Feather To curdle when poured into another liquid, and float about in little flakes or “feathers;” as, the cream feathers .
    • Feather 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."
    • Feather 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."
    • Feather To grow or form feathers; to become feathered; -- often with out; as, the birds are feathering out.
    • Feather 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.""The ripple feathering from her bows."
    • Feather To render light as a feather; to give wings to. "The Polonian story perhaps may feather some tedious hours."
    • Feather To tread, as a cock.
    • Feather To turn to a horizontal plane; -- said of oars. "The feathering oar returns the gleam.""Stopping his sculls in the air to feather accurately."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Initially golf balls were made out of wood. After that they were made out of leather which was stuffed with feathers
    • n feather One of the epidermal appendages which together constitute the plumage, the peculiar covering of birds; also, collectively, the plumage. Feathers are extremely modified scales. The nearest approach to them in animals other than birds is probably the quills of the porcupine. Feathers are epidermal, non-vascular, and nonnervous appendages. consisting of a horny and pithy substance, and subject to periodical molt. They grow somewhat like hairs, in a little pit or pouch formed by an inversion of the dermal layer of the integument, in a closed follicle, upon a peculiarly molded papilla, which causes the feather to assume its special shape. They are seldom implanted uniformly over the surface, but grow in special tracts or areas separated by naked spaces. (See pteryla, apterium.) All of a bird's feathers collectively considered constitute the plumage or ptilosis. (See cut under bird.) A perfect feather consists of a main stem, shaft, or scape; a supplementary stem, aftershaft, or hyporachis; and vanes, webs, or vexilla: these together making the standard. The scape is divided into two parts: one, nearest the body of the bird, is the barrel, quill, or calamus, a hard, horny, hollow, semi-transparent tube with one end inserted in the skin; it bears no webs, and passes insensibly at a point marked by a little pit (umbilicus) into the shaft proper or rachis. This is squarish in section, tapers to a fine point, is highly elastic, opaque, and solidly filled with dry pith; it bears the vexilla. The aftershaft is usually like a miniature of the main feather, springing from the stem of the latter at the junction of the calamus and rachis. (See aftershaft.) With its vanes it is called the hypoptilum. Sometimes it is as large as the main feather. There are two vanes, on opposite sides of the rachis. Each vane consists of a series of mutually appressed, thin, flat, linear or lancelinear plates, the barbs, set off obliquely from the rachis by their basal ends at a varying open angle. (See cut under barb.) To cause these plates to cohere with one another, and make a webbing of the vane, each barb bears secondary vanes; these are barbules, and bear to the barbs the same relation that the barbs bear to the rachis. Barbules are also fringed, as if frayed out, along their lower edges; each such fringe makes a tertiary vane. When these vanes are simple, they are termed barbicels; when hooked, hooklets or hamuli. (See cut under barbule.) From such perfect structure feathers may be reduced in various ways, even to lacking everything but the shaft; when this is very thick, feathers become much like scales, as in the penguin; when it is fine, they resemble hairs or bristles. In general, three types of feather-structure are recognized: The perfectly feathery, plumous or pennaceous, structure. The goosequill used as a pen is a good example (though it lacks an aftershaft). Most contour-feathers are pennaceous. The downy or plumulaceous, such as makes up the under-plumage or down. The filoplumaceous, which approaches a bristle or hair. (See cut under filoplume.) But there is no strict line of demarcation, and in fact most feathers are pennaceous with plumulaceous bases of the webs. Feathers are also classified as pennæ, plumæ, or contour-feathers; plumulæ, or down-feathers; semiplumæ, or half-feathers; filoplumæ, or threadfeathers; and pulviplumæ, dust-feathers, or powderdown. (See phrases below.) The acquisition of feathers is called endysis; their loss, ecdysis. Birds which acquire feathers in the egg are Præcoces or Ptilopædes; those which are hatched naked are Altrices, Psilopædes, or Gymnopædes. Feathers are of extremely rapid growth. They are of many shapes, often remarkable, and of every possible color. The color is usually due to actual pigmentation, but in many cases to iridescence. The optical effect of iridescence is due to the texture of the webs. Among all epidermal structures, feathers probably combine in the highest degree the qualities of lightness, strength, and elasticity. They are also very warm, and in many cases water-proof.
    • n feather Something in the form of a feather, or resembling nearly or remotely the standard of a feather; something made of feathers.
    • n feather Specifically — A plume.
    • n feather In founding, a thin rib cast on iron framing to strengthen it and resist bending or fracture.
    • n feather A slip inserted longitudinally into a shaft or arbor, and projecting so as to fit a groove in the eye of a wheel.
    • n feather One of two pieces of metal placed in a hole in a stone which is to be split, a wedge-shaped key or plug being driven between them for this purpose.
    • n feather In joinery, a projection on the edge of a board which fits into a channel on the edge of another board, in the operation of joining boards by grooving and feathering, or grooving and tonguing, as it is more commonly called.
    • n feather On a horse, a sort of natural frizzling of the hair, which in some places rises above the smooth coat, and makes a figure resembling the tip of an ear of wheat.
    • n feather A foamy spray of water thrown up and backward on each side of the cutwater of a swiftly moving vessel, or from the edge of an oar when turned horizontally. See feather-spray.
    • n feather The fringe of hair on the back of the legs, on the neck, or on the ears of some breeds of dogs, as setters. Also feathering
    • n feather In precious stones, an irregular flaw. See the extract.
    • n feather The feathered end or string-end of an arrow.
    • n feather Kind; nature; species: from the proverbial phrase “birds of a feather”—that is, of the same species.
    • n feather In sporting, birds collectively; fowls: as, fur, fin, and feather.
    • n feather Among confectioners, one of the degrees in boiling sugar, preceded by the blow, and followed by the ball.
    • n feather Something as light as a feather; hence, something very unimportant; a trifle.
    • n feather In rowing, the act of feathering. See feather, v. t., 6.
    • n feather Quill-feather
    • n feather a large pennaceous feather with a stout barrel or quill, which is or may be used for writing; a quill. The large flight-and rudder-feathers of the wings and tail are of this kind.
    • feather To cover with feathers; hence, to cover with something resembling feathers.
    • feather To adorn; enrich or advantage; exalt.
    • feather To fit with a feather or feathers, as an arrow.
    • feather To tread: said of a cock.
    • feather To join by tonguing and grooving, as boards.
    • feather In rowing, to turn the blade of (an oar) nearly horizontally, with the upper edge pointing toward the bow, as it leaves the water, so that the water runs off it in a feathery form, for the purpose of lessening the resistance of the air upon it, and decreasing the danger of catching the water as it is moved back into position for a new stroke.
    • feather To have or produce the appearance or form of a feather or feathers, as the ripples at the bow of a moving vessel. See feather-spray.
    • feather To be or become feathery in appearance; appear thin or feathery by contrast.
    • feather In rowing, to let the water drop off in a feathery spray, as the blade of an oar when turned nearly horizontally on leaving the water.
    • n feather In archery, a piece cut from one side of a feather, trimmed to the desired size and shape, and glued upon an arrow near the nock to improve its flight. Sometimes other material is used. Ordinarily an arrow has three feathers set at equal distances on its circumference: see cock-feather.
    • feather To drop (melted metallic tin) into cold water, which has the effect of spreading it out with a feathery appearance.
    • feather To make a quivering movement of the tail: said of dogs.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are approximately 7,000 feathers on an eagle
    • n Feather feth′ėr one of the growths which form the covering of a bird: a feather-like ornament: the feathered end of an arrow: nature, kind, as in 'birds of a feather:' birds collectively: anything light or trifling
    • v.t Feather to furnish or adorn with feathers
    • ***


  • Allen Ginsberg
    Allen Ginsberg
    “Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!”
  • Katharine Hepburn
    “Why slap them on the wrist with feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer.”
  • Emily Dickinson
    “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul -- and sings the tunes without the words -- and never stops at all.”
  • Plato
    “Man is a two-legged animal without feathers.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “It is easier to gather up a bag of loose feathers than to round up or head off a single lie.”
  • Proverb
    “Birds of a feather flock together.”


Birds of a feather flock together - This idiom means that people with similar interests will stick together.
Feather in your cap - A success or achievement that may help you in the future is a feather in your cap.
Feather your own nest - If someone feathers their own nest, they use their position or job for personal gain.
Feather-brained - Som eone who's feather-brained is silly, empty-headed and not serious.
Feathers fly - When people are fighting or arguing angrily, we can say that feathers are flying.
Get your feathers in a bunch - If you get your feathers in a bunch, you get upset or angry about something.
Ruffle a few feathers - If you ruffle a few feathers, you annoy some people when making changes or improvements.
White feather - If someone shows a white feather, they are cowards.
You could have knocked me down with a feather - This idiom is used to mean that the person was very shocked or surprised.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. fether, AS. feðer,; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fjöðr, Sw. fjäder, Dan. fjæder, Gr. ptero`n wing, feather, pe`tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra, wing, feather, pat, to fly, and prob. to L. penna, feather, wing. √76, 248. Cf. Pen a feather


In literature:

He suppressed the sharp exclamation that rose to his lips, and thrust the feather into the bosom of his buckskin hunting shirt.
"The Riflemen of the Ohio" by Joseph A. Altsheler
It climbs easily up the trunks of trees, resting upon its tail-feathers.
"Adventures of a Young Naturalist" by Lucien Biart
You will also observe that the whole of the skin does not produce feathers, and that it is very tender where the feathers do not grow.
"Practical Taxidermy" by Montagu Browne
The warmth and lightness of feathers is illustrated by the feather boas worn by ladies.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study" by Ontario Ministry of Education
Feather by feather the goose is plucked.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
Eleanor bounds into the hall, and waves a feather boa joyfully over her head.
"When the Birds Begin to Sing" by Winifred Graham
They were going to tar and feather him!
"The Young Oarsmen of Lakeview" by Ralph Bonehill
Chocolates, sweets, jewelry, ostrich-feathers, patent-leather boots, everything!
"The Bill-Toppers" by Andre Castaigne
The familiar adage, "Birds of a feather flock together," is not always true, for in winter birds of many a feather often flock together.
"Our Bird Comrades" by Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser
For his own part he was getting tired of this helpless lad, left in his hut by White Feather, his Ute brother-in-law.
"Dorothy on a Ranch" by Evelyn Raymond

In poetry:

But who this frail fetter
Shall forge on an anvil,
With hammer of feather
And anvil of velvet?
"March" by Isabella Valancy Crawford
Round my thought flutters
a fluff of words, its shape;
it lies hard inside.
Feathers reveal and hide.
"The Thrush" by Raymond Queneau
And mony was the feather-bed
That fluttered on the faem,
And mony was the gude lord's son
That never mair cam hame.
"Sir Patrick Spens" by Anonymous British
And mony was the feather bed
That flattered on the faem;
And mony was the gude lord's son
That never mair cam hame.
"Sir Patrick Spens" by Henry Morley
"Where the hemlocks grew so dark
That I stopped to look and hark,
On a log, with feather-hat,
By the path, an Indian sat.
"The Truce of Piscataqua" by John Greenleaf Whittier
What know I
Of the will of the tense bow from which I fly?
What the need or jest,
That feathers my flight to its bloody rest.
"Gisli: The Chieftain" by Isabella Valancy Crawford

In news:

Dakota Feathers returned a kickoff 75 yards for a TD in the first quarter.
Bruising is relatively easy to spot in parakeets once the feathers in the affected area are parted.
With their colorful feathered hats and hand-sewn pearl button suits, the pearlies are an instantly recognizable London institution dating back 150 years.
Fuck buttons Flight of the Feathered Serpent tarot sport.
CHICKASHA — Randy Getman, owner of the Red Feather Gallery Body Piercing, likes to poke fun every once in a while.
Randy Getman, owner of Red Feather Gallery at 210 S 4th St, Suite D, in Chickasha sometimes uses humor to put his customers at ease.
The Red Feather Gallery has been in Chickasha for 12 years.
Pigeon English The story of a boy whose new feathered friend may cost him some of his old human ones.
The air was thick with feathers tonight at San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza, where hundreds of people gathered for the annual Valentine's Day pillow fight .
Other companies that exhibit in the space - located at IHFC, H223 - include Peacock Alley, Lili Alessandra, Moss Studio, and Square Feathers and Barbara Cosgrove Lighting.
Birds may pluck at feathers for any number of reasons.
Plucking feathers from Chicken Little.
Plumage colors feathered in.
Once Mitt Romney brushes the yellow feathers off his sharply tailored suit, the GOP presidential candidate may regret ever having tangled with Big Bird, increasingly looking like the signature moment of last week's presidential debate.
The Justice Department said Friday it is going to allow members of federally recognized Indian tribes to possess eagle feathers, although that's a federal crime.

In science:

We may also be interested in the flight patterns of a large flock of Canadian Geese, but we may not be interested in the color patterns of their feathers.
Complex Systems
This is another feather in the cap of the directed polymer problem.
Directed polymers and Randomness
IPV6 will be the most distinct feather of next generation Internet.
Domain resource integration system
When the subject moved, the feather inscribed a trajectory on the sheet.
Review of Nonlinear Methods and Modelling
Three scores were distinguished: no moult, body moult (feathers along side and flanks), moult of wing feathers.
Post-hatching parental care behaviour and hormonal status in a precocial bird