Parts of a feather:
1. vane
2. rachis, shaft
3. barbs
4. hyporachis, afterfeather
5. calamus, quill



  • A branching, hair-like structure that grows on the bodies of birds, used for flight, swimming, protection and display.
  • Long hair on the lower legs of a dog or horse, especially a draft horse, notably the Clydesdale breed. Narrowly only the rear hair.
  • One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow.
  • A longitudinal strip projecting from an object to strengthen it, or to enter a channel in another object and thereby prevent displacement sideways but permit motion lengthwise; a spline.
  • Kind; nature; species (from the proverbial phrase "birds of a feather").
  • One of the two shims of the three-piece stone-splitting tool known as plug and feather or plug and feathers; the feathers are placed in a borehole and then a wedge is driven between them, causing the stone to split.
  • The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float, with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or enters the water.
  • Anything petty or trifling; a whit or jot.
  • Partridges and pheasants, as opposed to rabbits and hares (called fur).
  • A junction indicator attached to a colour-light signal at an angle, which lights up, typically with four white lights in a row, when a diverging route is set up.



Similar words


  • From Middle English feþer, from Old English feþer, from Proto-West Germanic *feþru, from Proto-Germanic *feþrō (compare West Frisian fear, German Low German Fedder, Dutch veder, veer, German Feder, Yiddish פֿעדער, Danish fjer, Swedish fjäder, Norwegian Bokmål fjær, fjør, Norwegian Nynorsk fjør), from Proto-Indo-European *péth₂r̥ ("feather, wing"), from *peth₂-. Cognate with Ancient Greek πέτομαι, Albanian shpend ("bird"), Latin penna, Old Armenian թիռ.

Modern English dictionary

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