Definition of drip feed in English:

drip feed


  • 1A device for introducing fluid drop by drop into a system, for example lubricating oil into an engine.

    • ‘This self-watering plant pot's main feature is a medical drip feed.’
    • ‘This is often used by bikes which have a drip feed to the chains.’
    1. 1.1A medicinal drip.
      • ‘He might have added that anyone hooked up to a drip-feed in a hospital could clear off as well, since a hospital for women and children was precisely one of the targets bombed last night according to residents.’


  • 1[with object] Introduce (fluid) drop by drop.

    ‘the oiler drip-feeds oil on to all drive chains’
    • ‘Her mother then tries to drip feed her with a syringe, but she won't take the liquid.’
    • ‘You could, instead of using a tube, you could have a nurse stand over Terri and drip feed food down her throat.’
    • ‘Those that can't cope without water are drip-fed via a computer irrigation system.’
    1. 1.1Supply (a patient) with fluid, nutrients, or drugs through a drip.
      ‘the babies were drip-fed through their noses’
      • ‘For four-and-a-half years he wore a tiny backpack at all times, being drip-fed vital drugs into his heart every four minutes to keep him alive.’
      • ‘Every five days he is taken to hospital to be drip-fed.’
      • ‘That was a sensible price for what is an interesting, but very early stage, company whose second big product - a syringe pump, able to drip-feed drugs into the body over long periods - is even more exciting.’
    2. 1.2Provide gradually and in small amounts.
      ‘their correspondence is being drip-fed to newspapers’
      • ‘The cash could be drip-fed back into the company, if required, by way of loans, but this would be at the shareholders' discretion.’
      • ‘I've stacked the back room with a random assortment of poems and yes, even arranged to have someone drip-feed them to the site (thanks, Kim).’
      • ‘Far better to drip-feed amounts into the stock market, so that when share prices fall, you are buying at bargain prices, and when they rise, you can enjoy their growth.’
      • ‘Lenders will drip-feed the cash as the project moves ahead, checking progress at each stage before sending you another cheque.’
      • ‘Only this time the nostalgia is drip-fed to an audience eager to devour the entire prescription in one go.’
      • ‘He wants to know little bits all the time, but we will drip-feed things to him.’
      • ‘So, once again, we are seeing confirmation that this bill does not deliver anything for most working New Zealanders at all, and for those to whom it does deliver something, it drip-feeds it out over a couple of years.’
      • ‘I would guess the best approach is to drip-feed her acceptance back into the community, perhaps with a few visits at first.’
      • ‘That way he's still started saving for his future and he doesn't have to worry about timing the market because he'll be drip-feeding his money into the pot.’
      • ‘Aimed squarely at the teenage audience, it drip-feeds the audience colour and comfortable, safe excitement in a neat, glossy package.’
      • ‘Firstly, let's take the passive long-term investor who drip-feeds money into an index tracker.’
      • ‘You see, I've learnt businesses rarely solve operational or financial problems overnight and quoted companies do tend to drip-feed bad news to shareholders over months or even years - doing the share price no favours in the meantime.’
      • ‘Most of it will go on deposit, but I may drip-feed some into the stock market via this cheap, simple stock-market investment.’
      • ‘An examination of press releases on the Irish Department of Health website shows if the media did get carried away, it was as a result of what was drip-fed from the department.’
      • ‘You should try to drip-feed as much money as you can comfortably afford into it while equities are relatively cheap.’
      • ‘Plus, if you drip-feed your money in each month, you can benefit from pound cost averaging.’
      • ‘And we are going to drip-feed the good news about the future.’
      • ‘He said that large land banks were held by a handful of landowners who drip-fed land on to the market at a time when many builders could profitably develop that land.’
      • ‘Quickly though, the narrative shifts to follow another character and slowly begins to drip-feed details of the killings.’
      • ‘This astonishing illusion was achieved by my visiting six restaurants in the week before I left and programming my computer to drip-feed reviews to The Times in my absence like an automatic cat-feeder.’


drip feed