From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English feedere, federe, fedare, equivalent to feed +‎ -er.



feeder (plural feeders)

  1. One who feeds, or gives food to another.
    1. The participant in feederism who feeds the other (the feedee).
      • 2010, Niall Richardson, Transgressive Bodies:
        Often similes such as 'soft as velvet' or 'fluffy like a cloud' will be employed and the feeder will describe how he feels he can be lost in the enveloping folds of soft flesh.
  2. One who feeds, or takes in food.
    • c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene v]:
      The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,
      Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
      More than the wild-cat; []
    • 1871, George Miller Beard, Eating and Drinking:
      There are many who are dietarians in theory, but liberal feeders in practice. They suppose or maintain that it is a duty to deny oneself of all luxuries at the table, but practically they take the best that they can get.
  3. One who, or that which, feeds material into something (especially a machine).
    Coordinate terms: feed, feedbin, hopper
    Hyponyms: barfeed, barfeeder
    • 2007, Thomas E. Lightburn, The Shield and the Shark, page 173:
      When the claxon sounded they immediately stopped what they were doing and uncovered the Oerlikon. Paddy, who was ammunition feeder, stood by while Jock trained the 20mm gun around.
  4. That which is used to feed.
    a bird feeder
  5. A tributary stream, especially of a canal.
    • 1827, Conrad Malte-Brun, Universal Geography, or A Description of All the Parts of the World, on a New Plan, Edinburgh: Adam Black, volume 6, book 101, 285:
      The surface of the Balaton and the surrounding marshes is not less than 24 German square miles, or 384 English square miles; its principal feeder is the Szala, but all the water it receives appears inconsiderable relatively to its superficial extent, and the quantity lost in evaporation.
  6. A branch line of a railway.
    • 1942 May-June, Charles E. Lee, “The Brampton Railway”, in Railway Magazine, page 140:
      This line, described as a valuable feeder to the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway, was opened on July 8, 1836, and superseded the older wagonway.
    • 1959 August, “Talking of Trains: The costs of transport”, in Trains Illustrated, page 346:
      Another factor to be allowed for in establishing the remunerativeness of a service was its value as a feeder to the rest of the system.
  7. A transmission line that feeds the electricity for an electricity substation, or for a transmitter.
  8. (education) Short for feeder school.
  9. (shipbuilding, navigation) A feeder ship.
  10. (US, law) A judge whose law clerks are often selected to become clerks for the Supreme Court.
  11. (baseball, slang, archaic, 1800s) The pitcher.
  12. (video games, derogatory) A player whose character is killed by the opposing player or team more than once, deliberately or through lack of skills and experience, thus helping the opposing side.
  13. (obsolete) One who abets another.
    • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene iv], lines 815–818:
      Go with me; if you like upon report
      The soil, the profit, and this kind of life,
      I will your very faithful feeder be,
      And buy it with your gold right suddenly.
  14. (obsolete) A parasite.

Derived terms[edit]






From Middle Irish *figedóir (weaver) (compare Irish fíodóir, Scottish Gaelic figheadair), from figid (weaves, plaits, intertwines, verb). By surface analysis, fee +‎ -der.


feeder m (genitive singular feeder, plural feederyn)

  1. spider
    Synonym: doo-oallee
  2. weaver


Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
feeder eeder veeder
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.