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See also: Fodder



From Middle English fodder, foder, from Old English fōdor (feed; fodder), from Proto-West Germanic *fōdr, from Proto-Germanic *fōdrą, from *fōdô (food), from Proto-Indo-European *peh₂- (to guard, graze, feed).

Compare Saterland Frisian Fodder, West Frisian foer, Dutch voer (pasture; fodder), German Futter (fodder; feed), Danish foder, Swedish foder. More at food.



fodder (countable and uncountable, plural fodders)

  1. Food for animals; that which is fed to cattle, horses, and sheep, such as hay, cornstalks, vegetables, etc.
    Synonyms: forage, provender
    Coordinate term: feed
  2. (historical) A load: various English units of weight or volume based upon standardized cartloads of certain commodities, generally around 1000 kg.
    • 1866, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 1, page 168:
      Now measured by the old hundred, that is, 108 lbs. the charrus contains nearly 19 1/2 hundreds, that is it corresponds to the fodder, or fother, of modern times.
  3. (slang, drafting, design) Tracing paper.
  4. (figurative) Stuff; material; something that serves as inspiration or encouragement, especially for satire or humour.
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      According to the audio commentary on “Treehouse Of Horror III,” some of the creative folks at The Simpsons were concerned that the “Treehouse Of Horror” franchise had outworn its welcome and was rapidly running out of classic horror or science-fiction fodder to spoof.
  5. (cryptic crosswords) The text to be operated on (anagrammed, etc.) within a clue.
    • 2009, Colin Blackburn, “another 1-off cryptic clue.”, in rec.puzzles.crosswords (Usenet):
      In (part of) Shelley's poem Ozymandias is a "crumbling statue". If this is the explanation then the clue is not a reverse cryptic in the same was[sic] as GEGS -> SCRAMBLED EGGS but a normal clue where where[sic] the fodder and anagrind are *both* indirect.
    • 2012, David Astle, Puzzled: Secrets and clues from a life in words:
      Insane Roman! (4) [] Look in -sane Roman and you'll uncover NERO, the insane Roman. Dovetailing the signpost — in — with the hidden foddersane Roman — is inspired, an embedded style of signposting.
  6. People considered to have negligible value and easily available or expendable.
    Innocent people who are arrested become fodder for the justice system.
    • 2022 September 27, Ilia Krasilshchik, “Russians Are Terrified, and Have Nowhere to Turn”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      The Russian government was not interested in who will pay the mortgage or take care of his pregnant wife. It simply wanted more fodder for its war.


  • (cartload): See load


  • (cartload): See load

Derived terms[edit]



fodder (third-person singular simple present fodders, present participle foddering, simple past and past participle foddered)

  1. (dialect) To feed animals (with fodder).
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, →OCLC:
      Straw will do well enough to fodder them with
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 34:
      "When I had foddered the horse, I went into the barn and took the handle of an old rake to chase the dog out with."


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English fōdor. Doublet of fother.



fodder (uncountable)

  1. fodder


  • English: fodder
  • Scots: foder, fodder, fother, fothir