Birdsone of the horny structures forming the principal covering of birds, consisting typically of a hard, tubular portion attached to the body and tapering into a thinner, stemlike portion bearing a series of slender, barbed processes that interlock to form a flat structure on each side.
kind; character; nature:two boys of the same feather.
Zoologysomething like a feather, as a tuft or fringe of hair.
something very light, small, or trivial:Your worry is a mere feather.
[Archery.]one of the vanes at the tail of an arrow or dart.
Building[Carpentry.]a spline for joining the grooved edges of two boards.
Building[Masonry.]See under plug and feathers.
Jewelrya featherlike flaw, esp. in a precious stone.
Mechanical Engineering[Mach.]See feather key.
Idiomsa feather in one's cap, a praiseworthy accomplishment; distinction; honor:Being chosen class president is a feather in her cap.
Idiomsbirds of a feather. See bird (def. 12).
Idiomsin fine or high feather, in good form, humor, or health:feeling in fine feather.
Idiomsruffle someone's feathers, to anger, upset, or annoy (another person).
Idiomssmooth one's ruffled or rumpled feathers, to regain one's composure; become calm:After the argument, we each retired to our own rooms to smooth our ruffled feathers.
to provide with feathers, as an arrow.
to clothe or cover with or as with feathers.
Sport[Rowing.]to turn (an oar) after a stroke so that the blade becomes nearly horizontal, and hold it thus as it is moved back into position for the next stroke.
to change the blade angle of (a propeller) so that the chords of the blades are approximately parallel to the line of flight.
to turn off (an engine) while in flight.
Birdsto grow feathers.
to be or become feathery in appearance.
to move like feathers.
Sport[Rowing.]to feather an oar.
Dialect Termsfeather into,[South Midland U.S.]to attack (a person, task, or problem) vigorously.
Idiomsfeather one's nest, to take advantage of the opportunities to enrich oneself:The mayor had used his term of office to feather his nest.
tar1(tär),USA pronunciationn., v.,tarred, tar•ring,adj. n.
Chemistryany of various dark-colored viscid products obtained by the destructive distillation of certain organic substances, as coal or wood.
Chemistrysmoke solids or components:cigarette tar.
beat, knock, or whale the tar out of,[Informal.]to beat mercilessly:The thief had knocked the tar out of the old man and left him for dead.
to smear or cover with or as if with tar.
to coat (a person) with tar and feathers as a punishment or humiliation.
to punish severely:She should be tarred and feathered for what she has done.
of or characteristic of tar.
covered or smeared with tar; tarred.
tarred with the same brush, possessing the same shortcomings or guilty of the same misdeeds:The whole family is tarred with the same brush.
bef. 900; (noun, nominal) Middle English tarr(e), ter(re), Old English teru; cognate with Dutch, German teer, Old Norse tjara; akin to tree; (verb, verbal) Middle English terren, Old English tierwian, derivative of the noun, nominal
any of the flat light waterproof epidermal structures forming the plumage of birds, each consisting of a hollow shaft having a vane of barbs on either side. They are essential for flight and help maintain body temperature
something resembling a feather, such as a tuft of hair or grass
a bird's feather or artificial substitute fitted to an arrow to direct its flight
the feathered end of an arrow, opposite the head
the position of an oar turned parallel to the water between strokes
condition of spirits; fettle: in fine feather
something of negligible value; jot: I don't care a feather
feather in one's cap ⇒ a cause for pleasure at one's achievements
(transitive) to fit, cover, or supply with feathers
to turn (an oar) parallel to the water during recovery between strokes, principally in order to lessen wind resistance
to change the pitch of (an aircraft propeller) so that the chord lines of the blades are in line with the airflow
(intransitive) (of a bird) to grow feathers
feather one's nest ⇒ to provide oneself with comforts, esp financial
Etymology: Old English fether; related to Old Frisian fethere, Old Norse fjöthr feather, Old High German fedara wing, Greek petesthai to fly, Sanskrit patati he flies