A feather in the cap
Feather Feath"er (f[e^][th]"[~e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS. fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel. fj["o][eth]r, Sw. fj["a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero`n wing, feather, pe`tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather, pat to fly, and prob. to L. penna feather, wing. [root]76, 248. Cf. {Pen} a feather.] 1. One of the peculiar dermal appendages, of several kinds, belonging to birds, as contour feathers, quills, and down. [1913 Webster]

Note: An ordinary feather consists of the quill or hollow basal part of the stem; the shaft or rachis, forming the upper, solid part of the stem; the vanes or webs, implanted on the rachis and consisting of a series of slender lamin[ae] or barbs, which usually bear barbules, which in turn usually bear barbicels and interlocking hooks by which they are fastened together. See {Down}, {Quill}, {Plumage}.

2. Kind; nature; species; -- from the proverbial phrase, ``Birds of a feather,'' that is, of the same species. [R.] [1913 Webster]

I am not of that feather to shake off My friend when he must need me. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. The fringe of long hair on the legs of the setter and some other dogs. [1913 Webster]

4. A tuft of peculiar, long, frizzly hair on a horse. [1913 Webster]

5. One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow. [1913 Webster]

6. (Mach. & Carp.) A longitudinal strip projecting as a fin from an object, to strengthen it, or to enter a channel in another object and thereby prevent displacement sidwise but permit motion lengthwise; a spline. [1913 Webster]

7. A thin wedge driven between the two semicylindrical parts of a divided plug in a hole bored in a stone, to rend the stone. --Knight. [1913 Webster]

8. The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float, with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or enters the water. [1913 Webster]

Note: Feather is used adjectively or in combination, meaning composed of, or resembling, a feather or feathers; as, feather fan, feather-heeled, feather duster. [1913 Webster]

{Feather alum} (Min.), a hydrous sulphate of alumina, resulting from volcanic action, and from the decomposition of iron pyrites; -- called also {halotrichite}. --Ure.

{Feather bed}, a bed filled with feathers.

{Feather driver}, one who prepares feathers by beating.

{Feather duster}, a dusting brush of feathers.

{Feather flower}, an artifical flower made of feathers, for ladies' headdresses, and other ornamental purposes.

{Feather grass} (Bot.), a kind of grass ({Stipa pennata}) which has a long feathery awn rising from one of the chaffy scales which inclose the grain.

{Feather maker}, one who makes plumes, etc., of feathers, real or artificial.

{Feather ore} (Min.), a sulphide of antimony and lead, sometimes found in capillary forms and like a cobweb, but also massive. It is a variety of Jamesonite.

{Feather shot}, or {Feathered shot} (Metal.), copper granulated by pouring into cold water. --Raymond.

{Feather spray} (Naut.), the spray thrown up, like pairs of feathers, by the cutwater of a fast-moving vessel.

{Feather star}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Comatula}.

{Feather weight}. (Racing) (a) Scrupulously exact weight, so that a feather would turn the scale, when a jockey is weighed or weighted. (b) The lightest weight that can be put on the back of a horse in racing. --Youatt. (c) In wrestling, boxing, etc., a term applied to the lightest of the classes into which contestants are divided; -- in contradistinction to {light weight}, {middle weight}, and {heavy weight}.

{A feather in the cap} an honour, trophy, or mark of distinction. [Colloq.]

{To be in full feather}, to be in full dress or in one's best clothes. [Collog.]

{To be in high feather}, to be in high spirits. [Collog.]

{To cut a feather}. (a) (Naut.) To make the water foam in moving; in allusion to the ripple which a ship throws off from her bows. (b) To make one's self conspicuous. [Colloq.]

{To show the white feather}, to betray cowardice, -- a white feather in the tail of a cock being considered an indication that he is not of the true game breed. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • A feather in your cap — The term a feather in your cap is an English idiomatic phrase believed to have derived from the general custom in some cultures, of a warrior adding a new feather to their head gear for every enemy slain,cite web | url =… …   Wikipedia

  • a feather in your cap — see ↑feather, 1 • • • Main Entry: ↑cap a feather in your cap : an achievement or honor that you can be proud of The promotion was a feather in his cap. • • • Main Entry: ↑feather …   Useful english dictionary

  • (a) feather in your cap — a feather in your cap phrase an achievement that you can feel pleased and satisfied about Thesaurus: achievementssynonym Main entry: feather * * * a ˈfeather in your cap idiom an action that you can be proud of This idiom comes from t …   Useful english dictionary

  • (a) feather in your cap — a feather in (your) cap an achievement that you can be proud of. An order for 28 new aircraft is quite a feather in Boeing s cap. Etymology: based on the custom in some American Indian cultures of wearing a feather to as a symbol of bravery in… …   New idioms dictionary

  • (a) feather in cap — a feather in (your) cap an achievement that you can be proud of. An order for 28 new aircraft is quite a feather in Boeing s cap. Etymology: based on the custom in some American Indian cultures of wearing a feather to as a symbol of bravery in… …   New idioms dictionary

  • feather in your cap — A success or achievement that may help you in the future is a feather in your cap …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • feather in your cap —    A success or achievement that may help you in the future is a feather in your cap.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Feather in your cap —   A success or achievement that may help you in the future is a feather in your cap …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • a feather in one's cap — phrasal : an honor, a trophy, or a mark of distinction : a notable accomplishment it was a feather in the governor s cap that he had stayed above corruption throughout his term * * * a feather in one s cap An achievement of which one can be proud …   Useful english dictionary

  • feather in one's cap —    To describe someone s achievement as a feather in their cap means that it is something they can be proud of.     The overwhelming victory of the team was a feather in the cap for the new manager …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

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