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Dictionary


feath•er



Pronunciation: (fe&thslash;'ur), [key]
n.
1. one 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.
2. kind; character; nature: two boys of the same feather.
3. something like a feather, as a tuft or fringe of hair.
4. something very light, small, or trivial: Your worry is a mere feather.
5. Archery.one of the vanes at the tail of an arrow or dart.
6. Carpentry.a spline for joining the grooved edges of two boards.
7. Masonry.See under plug and feathers.
8. a featherlike flaw, esp. in a precious stone.
9. Mach.See feather key.
10. Archaic.attire.
11. Obs.plumage.
12. a feather in one's cap, a praiseworthy accomplishment; distinction; honor: Being chosen class president is a feather in her cap.
13. birds of a feather. See bird (def. 12).
14. in fine or high feather, in good form, humor, or health: feeling in fine feather.
15. ruffle someone's feathers, to anger, upset, or annoy (another person).
16. smooth 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.

v.t.
1. to provide with feathers, as an arrow.
2. to clothe or cover with or as with feathers.
3. 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.
4. Aeron.
a. to change the blade angle of (a propeller) so that the chords of the blades are approximately parallel to the line of flight.
b. to turn off (an engine) while in flight.

v.i.
1. to grow feathers.
2. to be or become feathery in appearance.
3. to move like feathers.
4. Rowing.to feather an oar.
5. feather into, South Midland U.S.to attack (a person, task, or problem) vigorously.
6. feather one's nest, to take advantage of the opportunities to enrich oneself: The mayor had used his term of office to feather his nest.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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