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feath·er  (fr)
1. One of the light, flat growths forming the plumage of birds, consisting of numerous slender, closely arranged parallel barbs forming a vane on either side of a horny, tapering, partly hollow shaft.
2. feathers Plumage.
3. feathers Clothing; attire.
4. A feathery tuft or fringe of hair, as on the legs or tail of some dogs.
5. Character, kind, or nature: Birds of a feather flock together.
6. Something small, trivial, or inconsequential.
a. A strip, wedge, or flange used as a strengthening part.
b. A wedge or key that fits into a groove to make a joint.
8. The vane of an arrow.
9. A feather-shaped flaw, as in a precious stone.
10. The wake made by a submarines periscope.
11. The act of feathering the blade of an oar in rowing.
v. feath·ered, feath·er·ing, feath·ers
1. To cover, dress, or decorate with or as if with feathers.
2. To fit (an arrow) with a feather.
a. To thin, reduce, or fringe the edge of by cutting, shaving, or wearing away.
b. To shorten and taper (hair) by cutting and thinning.
4. To connect with a tongue-and-groove joint.
5. To turn (an oar blade) almost horizontal as it is carried back after each stroke.
a. To alter the pitch of (a propeller) so that the chords of the blades are parallel with the line of flight.
b. To alter the pitch of (the rotor of a helicoptor) while in forward flight.
7. To turn off (an aircraft engine) while in flight.
1. To grow feathers or become feathered.
2. To move, spread, or grow in a manner suggestive of feathers.
3. To feather an oar.
4. To feather a propeller.
feather in (ones) cap
An act or deed to ones credit; a distinctive achievement.
feather (ones) nest
To grow wealthy by taking advantage of ones position or by making use of property or funds left in ones trust.
in fine/good/high feather
In excellent form, health, or humor.

[Middle English fether, from Old English; see pet- in Indo-European roots.]
typical flight feather (left) and a magnified view of vanes (right)

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