Definition of feed in English:



  • 1Give food to.

    ‘did you remember to feed the cat?’
    [with two objects] ‘she fed him bits of biscuit’
    • ‘Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food.’
    • ‘After feeding his cat, he'd jump in his car for the 15-minute drive to work.’
    • ‘It's a laid-back, slightly quirky Egyptian town, with an economy that runs on diving and an unusually large population of cats and dogs, fed by indulgent Europeans.’
    • ‘In Trial 2, steers fed hay had less shrink than those fed the 55 % concentrate diet.’
    • ‘It's a bit like looking after someone's dog and feeding it expensive dog food.’
    • ‘She feeds the stray cats that wander through the backyard so there's always a dish of kitty kibble on their table.’
    • ‘There's nothing like it out there, nothing that's packaged in convenient small sizes for a mother who's feeding a baby.’
    • ‘But his dogs remember who feeds them when they're home.’
    • ‘Steers were then fed starting at approximately 0800 h and were fed once daily.’
    • ‘The woman said she fed her baby before leaving Detroit but the child became hungry again.’
    • ‘She got right down to work, feeding every dog their measured amount of food, then cleaning out their cages.’
    • ‘You can feed your cat food that will help to control it too.’
    • ‘I'm the one who usually feeds the cat because I wake first and because I'm here more often in the early evening.’
    • ‘Through taking a dog for a walk or feeding the cat, patients gain a fragment of normality in a new abnormal world.’
    • ‘Grandpa insists on feeding the dogs good food to keep them healthy for the big hunt.’
    • ‘The characters - a horse, cat, sparrow, monkey, cat and dog - are fed vintage wine and exquisite food and are blissfully unaware of the outside world.’
    • ‘Remember to feed the dog and don't burn the house down.’
    • ‘The fish were fed once or twice a day on flake food and were fed live food (bloodworms and brine shrimp) every 2 weeks.’
    • ‘Ideally, you will need to get recommendations about the amounts of food to feed your dog from your vet.’
    • ‘‘These people are giving their services for free so we wanted to do our bit by feeding them,’ he said.’
    give food to, provide food for, provide for, cater for, prepare food for, cook for, make a meal for, wine and dine
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    1. 1.1[no object](especially of an animal or baby) take food; eat something.
      ‘the baby will feed according to her needs’
      • ‘Down in the hollow just north of me are three deer feeding along the field edge.’
      • ‘He had stopped for a while in a glade as the horse fed.’
      • ‘You can tell your baby is feeding well if she is gaining enough weight.’
      • ‘Maybe one of the night creatures were feeding in the woods and the girl had just found out what they were or had just been bitten.’
      • ‘In heat and humidity strong enough to hatch eggs, they sit on the hard stone floor cradling infants with flies feeding from the corners of their eyes.’
      • ‘In between, delegates visited Okupuka Ranch for a game drive to watch lions feeding.’
      • ‘This is land where sheep and cattle feed.’
      • ‘Not long after this, at about noon, we heard the elephants feeding in front, and we crept forward.’
      • ‘But he was determined the foxes should feed in their garden too.’
      • ‘Perhaps because the sharks feed at night, the fish had nothing to fear during the day.’
      • ‘There is not much information available about where the birds are feeding and their nesting habitat closer to the marsh.’
      • ‘The pannage system is also still used in some parts of Spain and Portugal, where the lean Iberian pig feeds in woods and produces a particularly fine kind of ham.’
      • ‘I saw this bird feeding, its head concentrated on the bough of a beech tree.’
      • ‘We heard a branch breaking on our right and saw a cow but then the tracker heard an elephant feeding about 100 meters up.’
      • ‘When I went to visit them Dang was looking extremely pleased with herself and the puppies were feeding contentedly.’
      • ‘Many mothers can experience discomfort and often wonder whether their babies are feeding correctly.’
      graze, browse, crop, pasture, ruminate
      eat, take nourishment, partake of food, consume food, devour food, have a meal
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    2. 1.2British Give a person or animal large amounts of food.
      ‘you look as though you need feeding up’
      • ‘We had to feed the puppies up and rehydrate them.’
      • ‘The soldiers said she was a hero too so we fed her up a bit.’
      • ‘I expect they will be fed up until they're big enough to sell for meat because the pig industry is starting to become lucrative again.’
      • ‘The best thing you can do for this youngster is to feed him up and then get him to sleep for a while.’
      • ‘The boat was captained by Bob and his wife, Mary, whose mission was to feed everyone up until they matched her husband's giant proportions.’
      make fat, make fatter, feed up, build up
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    3. 1.3Provide an adequate supply of food for.
      ‘the island's simple agriculture could hardly feed its inhabitants’
      • ‘It is said that genetically modified foods will ensure that the entire world can be fed adequately and nutritiously.’
      • ‘Right now, the program provides enough food to feed the country's people.’
      • ‘Over 65 million people can now hardly feed themselves, while the government spends billions on arms.’
      • ‘The Chinese government has also provided assistance to help feed the hungry in Asia and in Africa.’
      • ‘There are numerous better ways to help feed the world's hungry, even in crisis situations.’
      • ‘We could hardly afford to feed ourselves, let alone contribute to some dude's retirement fund.’
      • ‘And as for the purchase of local goods and supplies, this country can't even make enough food to feed itself, never mind the tourists.’
      • ‘The conventional wisdom is that, in order to increase food supply to feed the hungry of the world, we need to redouble efforts to modernize agriculture.’
      • ‘The main economic challenge for the new state was to create an agriculture and economy that would feed the population and provide it with the wherewithal to defend the country against military attacks.’
      • ‘In other words, agriculture provided labour for the new factories in the towns and, eventually, food supplies to feed the new industrial working class.’
      • ‘A distraught York mother says she has no idea how she will feed her family over Easter after tax credits chaos left her almost penniless.’
      • ‘How would you feed everyone, provide water, medications, etc.?’
      • ‘Conventional wisdom holds that the country is looking for aid to help feed its starving population.’
      • ‘Today, we need to fight at two ends of the spectrum - feeding the millions and ensuring what we feed them is nutritionally adequate.’
      • ‘More than £1.5 billion has been spent by the UN on housing and feeding them, mainly provided by Western nations.’
      • ‘The crops should have provided enough to feed the 65-year-old woman and her 18-year-old grandson.’
      nurture, nourish, give food to, provide board for
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    4. 1.4[no object]Derive regular nourishment from (a particular substance)
      ‘the bird feeds on cliff-top vegetation’
      figurative ‘his powerful mind fed off political discussion’
      • ‘It is not hard to predict that, under such conditions, the political parties that feed off hatred of foreigners and racism will flourish.’
      • ‘The banded coral shrimp feeds on parasites that live on reef fish.’
      • ‘This species of shark feeds primarily on benthic (bottom-dwelling) invertebrates.’
      • ‘All feed primarily on plant material, either fruit, nectar or pollen.’
      • ‘For example, the cassowary (a large flightless bird) feeds on bright blue and red fruit.’
      • ‘This bird is quite common in the urban areas where it feeds on refuse and carrions, and hence its dirty reputation.’
      • ‘Alien plants often don't attract insects, which means there is nothing for birds to feed on.’
      • ‘The birds will swoop in front of cars to feed on the insects attracted by the headlights.’
      • ‘Little owls tend to feed on insects although they will take small birds and mammals when they are hungry.’
      • ‘Bald eagles feed primarily on marine mammals and fish and would not be a threat to the foxes.’
      • ‘The bird usually feeds on shrimps and larvae using its huge bill to sieve food from water.’
      • ‘The snail lives around the flushes of natural springs in the Sand Dale area, where it feeds on the lush vegetation.’
      • ‘One political party feeds off the promises of the other, and both candidates have compromised their principles to the point that the only difference between them is in the details.’
      • ‘These may feed on different substances and so be able to coexist, or they may compete for the same substance.’
      • ‘Birds should also be encouraged to feed on caterpillars, slugs and other pests.’
      • ‘The panic about a potential bird flu pandemic also feeds off the constant diet of food scare stories that we have been force-fed for years.’
      • ‘I therefore abandoned my picnic lunch and watched birds and squirrels feeding on a slab of Christmas cake and lots of sandwiches.’
      • ‘Many fungi are parastitic, feeding on living organisms without killing them.’
      • ‘His depression constantly occupies a corner of his mind, feeding off his insecurities and frustrations and enveloping him when he least expects it.’
      • ‘This shark feeds primarily on bony fishes such as parrot, trigger, squirrel, surgeon, damsel and goat fishes as well as eels.’
      live on, live off, exist on, subsist on, rely for nourishment on, depend on, thrive on
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    5. 1.5Give fertilizer to (a plant)
      ‘feed the lawn in spring and autumn’
      • ‘Their droppings feed the fungus in the ground and can also be a source of infection for people.’
      • ‘Speaking of fertilizer, you can use a granular or water soluble fertilizer to feed your hungry plants.’
      • ‘Excess nutrients from sewage or fertilizers flow into coastal waters, feeding algae blooms that block sunlight and smother corals.’
      • ‘The elements and the wood of the tree have fed the lichens and mosses.’
      • ‘In the use of the nutrients that feed our crops, China is now far and away the world leader.’
      • ‘In return, the plants' roots release carbohydrates to feed the fungi.’
      • ‘They analyze the soil, figuring out how to augment nutrients to feed the vines.’
      • ‘The land in all its splendour was rich and the dark red soil held all the rain and mist which seeped into the ground feeding the crops that grew in abundance.’
      • ‘As long as the tree is fed regularly, such soils shouldn't be a problem.’
      • ‘Slate has been used in the region for hundreds of years as a building material, and where it has not been present in sufficient quantity in the soil it has been added to feed the vine with minerals and to retain warmth.’
      • ‘Alfalfa meal and recycled sludge feed the flowers.’
      • ‘He said the compost in turn then goes to feed the flowers around the school.’
      • ‘The proper time to feed grass is in the fall, when the roots that will sustain the plants through the following summer are actively growing.’
      • ‘Fall is the preferred time for feeding northern grasses and midspring for southern ones.’
      • ‘Rain falling on the compost will feed the plants.’
      • ‘He hasn't fed his bent grass lawn in 10 years, and he says it looks fine.’
      • ‘Once the plants die, they release the fixed nitrogen to feed the subsequent crop.’
      • ‘After they take off, Betty feeds her plants liquid fertilizer with a teaspoon of gelatin powder mixed into each gallon.’
      • ‘Organic farming aims at first feeding the soil before feeding the crop as opposed to conventional methods which aims at directly feeding the crop and denying the soil its nutrition.’
      add fertilizer to, enrich with fertilizer, mulch, compost, manure, dung, dress, top-dress
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    6. 1.6Put fuel on (a fire).
      • ‘So after feeding the fire they both fell asleep.’
      • ‘Grabbing an old paperback dictionary she'd been using to keep her desk legs balanced, she ripped pages out to feed the fire.’
      • ‘You have to stoke the body the same way you would feed a fire.’
      • ‘He collected some driftwood to feed the fire he was to make.’
      • ‘They say on April 28 the fire was fed by files in a records room with a wooden floor.’
      • ‘At least three people died in a huge fire fed by shoes.’
      • ‘Judging exactly how much wood to feed a fire is not always easy even for a clear-headed person but it is especially difficult for someone who is intoxicated.’
      • ‘In their effort to stay warm, they kept their fireplace ablaze by burning library books, feeding the fire continually for that much needed warmth.’
      • ‘But when the door is opened and oxygen again feeds the fire, flames can suddenly erupt again.’
      • ‘Gas used for household heating and lighting merely fed the fire.’
      • ‘In My Childhood, one of the earliest moments sees Jamie coming home with only four pieces of coal with which to feed the fire.’
      • ‘Sub-officer Gary Hastings said that oil and fuel in the vehicles was pooling at the base of the fire and feeding the flames.’
      • ‘Once ignited, the updraft of air within the flue will feed this chimney fire, causing it to grow rapidly and producing very high temperatures.’
      • ‘Sure enough, underneath the grill inside the restaurant, sacks of mesquite charcoal stand ready to feed the open fire.’
      • ‘I got up and went over to feed the dying fire in the fireplace before returning to my seat.’
      • ‘I griped the glass in my hand and then I threw it into the flames, letting it feed the enraged fire.’
      • ‘Thick smoke choked its capital, Sydney, population 4 million, as strong winds fed the fires surrounding it.’
      • ‘If oxygen feeds fire and hydrogen is explosive, then why isn't water combustible?’
      • ‘Anything to save you some energy must be good, I can't imagine how difficult it must be with ME and having to feed a coal fire all the time.’
      • ‘This fortunate outcome most likely stems form the absence of fuel to explode and feed a post-crash fire.’
    7. 1.7Encourage the growth of.
      ‘I could feed my melancholy by reading Romantic poetry’
      • ‘A leader must harness and nurture that drive, feed it, and encourage it to grow.’
      • ‘Today's crude oil prices reflect nothing more than a market bubble fed by speculation and unwarranted fear.’
      • ‘As it is, KPL has developed a remarkably effective mechanism for feeding growth with new talent.’
      • ‘The Olympics surge is feeding the economic growth process at the moment, particularly in Sydney, but this is by its very nature temporary.’
      • ‘Yet the very thing that nurtures our growth also feeds our discontent.’
      • ‘The resulting rapid growth further fed the ambitions of the ‘new society’.’
      • ‘We know music enriches the human spirit, feeds the emotions and provides solace, peace, beauty and passion to our inner being.’
      • ‘The release of such material fed speculation that he was out to destroy the president.’
      • ‘Hate is fed by ignorance and incompetence.’
      • ‘Behind the scenes the focus is on developing the indigenous skills base to feed the future growth of the electronic design sector in Scotland.’
      • ‘The economic growth, which in turn has fed the growth of motorised traffic, has led to the inevitable problems associated with road traffic in built-up areas.’
      • ‘Like all industry chiefs, Oxburgh has a blind spot that conveniently overlooks how state-corporate power is relentlessly feeding a suicidal system of globalisation.’
      • ‘This cheap and readily available protection encourages speculation, which feeds the boom.’
      • ‘Travel became glamorous and fast, entertainment a mass industry and advertising spending mushroomed to feed the growth in consumerism.’
      • ‘I've learned that it's more important to hire people who stand behind your core values than it is to feed a growth rate with people who don't share those values.’
      • ‘Efforts to shut down dangerous coal mines have been complicated by the country's demands for power to feed its booming economy.’
      • ‘The corollary then would be that the rest are simply dreamers, but what's wrong with providing readers with material to feed those dreams?’
      strengthen, fortify, support, bolster, reinforce, boost, augment, supplement, add to, add fuel to, fuel, encourage, gratify, minister to
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    8. 1.8informal Satisfy (a drug habit)
      ‘users who commit crime to feed their habit’
      • ‘Too often, people who use drugs find themselves in hospital, in poor health, or on the wrong side of the law if they have committed a crime to feed their habit.’
      • ‘The need to feed a drugs habit is the mainspring behind much violent crime, say police.’
      • ‘He added that the crimes were ‘typical of the offending pattern of people that depend on regular money to feed drug habits.’’
      • ‘Mr Preston said it would come as no surprise to hear the offences had been committed to feed a drugs habit.’
      • ‘Those facing charges were involved in car crime to feed their habit.’
      • ‘These are to handle cases of people accused not only of drug use but of property crimes to feed their drug habits.’
      • ‘And police in the city hope the minister's promise will help smash the cycle of criminals committing crime to feed drugs habits.’
      • ‘Then there is the argument from the ill-informed that young people turn to crime to feed their drug habit.’
      • ‘The friendship the two men form, and the ways in which they manage to feed their addictions, provide the basic thrust of the film.’
      • ‘Many addicts fall into crime to feed their habits.’
      • ‘Carly turned to prostitution to feed her drug habit.’
      • ‘The majority of drug addicts will commit crimes to feed their habit.’
      • ‘A serial offender who stole to feed a drug habit and then handed himself in has been sentenced to four months in prison.’
      • ‘Caught up in the city's semi-frenetic nightlife, he's soon spending his days feeding a drug habit that's all but destroyed his career.’
      • ‘It breaks the cycle of offending to feed drug habits and allows addicts to start the journey back to being a functioning member of society.’
      • ‘A number of the women would also get involved with shoplifting to feed their drugs habits.’
      • ‘Sgt Spedding believes the burglaries are the work of only two or three people, mostly stealing to feed drug habits.’
      • ‘They push heroin, and commit crimes to feed their own habits.’
      • ‘He burgled homes in a bid to feed his drug habit and was caught and sent to prison.’
      • ‘He made his housekeeper become a drug dealer to feed his habit.’
      satisfy, fulfil, indulge, relieve, humour, comply with, pander to, cater to, give in to, quench, slake, satiate, pacify, appease, assuage, provide for, accommodate
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  • 2Supply with material or power.

    ‘a radial circuit fed by a 20 amp fuse’
    ‘the pond is fed by a small stream’
    • ‘And the creek line is actually the creek line that fed the first farm or watered the first farm for the early colonists.’
    • ‘In B.C., wind advocates are touting its potential, and the first wind farm feeding the power grid in B.C. could be up and running by October 2005.’
    • ‘At the same time, the rains that feed our rivers and provide us with the potable water that we need to survive have devastated huge tracts of the planet with floods that in recent years have been truly biblical in scale.’
    • ‘A small research reactor at the center has been modified, and a particle accelerator is to be built to feed the reactor with neutrons.’
    • ‘The BASH converter in turn converts this gate pulse into a power signal that feeds the power amplifier's main supply rails.’
    • ‘Liberal use of risers or exothermic compound ensures adequate molten metal to feed all sections of the casting.’
    • ‘Squeezing past a tatty door and stepping on electric cables that fed the heaters, I entered a poorly lit interior.’
    • ‘The retaining wall of the rivulet feeding the Gaj Power Project was also breached.’
    • ‘As the snow melts, water slowly per-colates through the ground, steadily feeding the springs that replenish these gushers.’
    • ‘Several irrigation drip lines feed the tower, one or two at the top and another in the middle.’
    • ‘Ms White said it would underpin a major part of the rural economy by supporting sustainable agriculture to feed a bio-fuel plant in Carlow.’
    1. 2.1Put into a machine.
      ‘the programs are fed into the computer’
      ‘Kevin fed coins into the jukebox’
      • ‘Some counties, including Bay County, use paper ballots that are fed into an optical scanner, so a recount is possible if there are questions.’
      • ‘I wouldn't want to live under any other arrangement, but it only can only create alloys are as good or bad as the raw ore that's fed into the smelter.’
      • ‘This would then be fed into ACR's machine, which can create more precise shapes than most prototypers.’
      • ‘Since the details of the building are fed into the machine, the computer also offers tips on the estimated cost and the quantity of paint required for the job.’
      • ‘She sings, it is fed into a machine and it emerges like a string of sausages - processed and bland.’
      • ‘The labels are fed into the labeling machine, which has a spinning device that rolls glue onto the labels and then sticks them to the bottles as they pass by.’
      • ‘Pallissaro fed a few more coins into the ravenous meter until it showed a fourteen pounds credit.’
      • ‘The data is fed into computers to create extremely accurate maps.’
      • ‘Those that are sealed and returned will be fed into the scanning machines starting Friday, she said.’
      • ‘At Tori & Shari, however, any cost adjustments brought about by, say, small mackerel hauls were simply fed into the computer.’
      • ‘Once inside the factory, the flax was fed into a stripping machine, which took all the green covering off the fibre and left it bare.’
      • ‘The sheets are fed into the machine and then bent to the desired angle, leaving a sharp and accurate crease in the metal.’
      • ‘On the prepack line, a roll of pouches is fed into the filling machine, which blows each pouch open with a puff of air.’
      • ‘The resulting images are then fed into a computer, which uses them to create ‘virtual’ actors who can be placed in any situation that the Wachowskis want them in.’
      • ‘The image is fed into the computer, which will recognise their faces from any of the 300 cameras in the CCTV scheme.’
      • ‘Postmortem details from victims, such as dental structure and DNA samples, are being fed into the computer.’
      • ‘The ballots were fed into another machine for tabulation.’
      • ‘As he fed coins into it and peered confused into the handset, I tried to help.’
      • ‘To prevent cutter wear, fresh wire is continuously fed into the machine.’
      • ‘As they watched, one of the players shambled over to the jukebox and fed a handful of coins into it.’
      • ‘One million pages of documents relating to his career have been fed into high-tech systems installed for the inquiry, which is being held in Manchester Town Hall.’
    2. 2.2Insert further coins into (a meter) to extend the time for which it operates.
      • ‘The Parking Meter bonus brings five free spins, and when coins appear on the reels to feed the meters, bonuses multiply.’
      • ‘Unless they have a disabled badge, motorists will now be forced to leave short-stay car parks after three hours to stop them returning at three-hour intervals to feed the meter and save cash.’
      • ‘All in all, not a cheerful day except for the one time when I exchanged a few words with a woman in the carpark, she seeking ten pence coins to feed the meter.’
      • ‘Jumping out of the car - and forgetting to feed the meter - she heads toward the heart of the market, most of which features organic produce.’
      • ‘Crowley asked if he himself would have to leave his office every hour to feed the meter.’
      • ‘Remember when the mobile Internet was going to reshape the economic order, and we'd all brandish our phones to watch videos and feed parking meters?’
      • ‘A drunk might steal shillings set aside to feed the gas meter.’
      • ‘I went to try and feed the meter, but it had a case of indigestion.’
      • ‘It needn't be complicated: you can hold the door for someone or feed a meter that's about to expire.’
      • ‘They can run errands worth various numbers of points, but they must make time for these errands by feeding their meter.’
      • ‘I remember one cold winter weekend when I was alone in the flat with no money to feed the electricity meter.’
      • ‘Shaggy parked there on a recent visit and went to feed the meter.’
      • ‘But the idea of a teenage mother who cannot wash her child in warm water because she hasn't got the money to feed the meter really got to me.’
      • ‘Businesses have complained they are being forced to carry unrealistic floats in their tills to keep up with customers' demand for change to feed the meters.’
      • ‘Manfred only feeds the meters if people are going to be booked and estimates he spends up to $3 a day.’
      • ‘It happened so fast I actually missed her arrival thanks to a four-minute sprint to feed the parking meter.’
      • ‘Both get your hair styled, and while she has her makeup tweaked, you can go and feed the meter.’
      • ‘Whoever it was that made the call must have seen me leave the building to feed that parking meter.’
      • ‘Hunched in carrels, they would often forget to feed the meters where their minivans were parked.’
      • ‘Alfred said the council should have placed notices warning people not to feed the meters during the truce.’
    3. 2.3[with two objects]Supply (someone) with (information, ideas, etc.)
      ‘I think he is feeding his old employer commercial secrets’
      • ‘Before he started Graham explained that he didn't want me to feed him information or to completely clam up but to answer yes or no if asked a question.’
      • ‘Your statement was patently ridiculous, and I can't help but wonder who fed you such information.’
      • ‘The more information you feed your children, the more alert they'll be when the time comes for them to use it.’
      • ‘We are fed endless information about them in the tabloid press, how drunk they were last night, what they were wearing, and what they think.’
      • ‘But we're not fed information, this is not Communist Russia, we have to do independent journalism.’
      • ‘Instead of information, he feeds us propaganda that, again and again, we later find out to be lies.’
      • ‘By deceiving the attacker, the defender feeds him false information and forces him to waste time in fruitless assaults, thereby blunting future attacks.’
      • ‘Jackson had been able to keep Smith happy by feeding him information.’
      • ‘Prospective candidates are fed misleading information about the organization to discourage them from pursuing their application.’
      • ‘Close aides of the president have denied feeding him wrong information resulting in his controversial statements or policies.’
      • ‘We do know that the US feed him propaganda material because he wrote that he was shown a picture of me in a newspaper and that I looked really stressed.’
      • ‘Ben has been feeding me information for weeks.’
      • ‘A keeper threw in huge slabs of raw meat, and the beasts tore them apart in front of us, while we were fed interesting titbits of information by another keeper.’
      • ‘His performance is only as good as the quality of the information he receives, so to improve his performance, we only have to feed him better information.’
      • ‘Are the press also to blame for feeding us this information, or do we have a right to know?’
      • ‘At Dawson's trial, Owen repeated the detailed information that Pollard fed him earlier.’
      • ‘Journalists and revolutionists worked hand in hand to expose the injustices of the Spaniards, and fed the people with ideas of democracy.’
      • ‘I think maybe he could have vetted the information better, but I think he was fed bad information with regard to the weapons of mass destruction.’
      • ‘Two days before the trial, he tried to get a former employer to feed him information so he could sell himself to the jury as an international fence and get a lesser sentence.’
      • ‘I have a group of people working for me who do nothing but examine other industries, and they have been feeding me information about cinema owners' profit and loss accounts.’
      supply, provide, give, deliver, present, furnish, issue, impart, sell
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    4. 2.4[with two objects]Prompt (an actor) with (a line)
      ‘you were still in the wings feeding Micky his lines’
      • ‘If he's being fed lines in an earphone, I'd expect that he should have to listen to a longer stretch of prompt before launching into a longer phrase.’
      • ‘Notice the twitchy, disoriented candidate running for re-election who has to be fed lines.’
      • ‘So, via a very unique performance style, Magnani was fed her lines by a dialogue coach, and she mimicked the sounds she heard.’
      • ‘Terry Taylor helps feed me lines over the headsets.’
      • ‘Now there is evidence that he may have been - in an electronic way - by having cues and lines fed to him through a hidden high-tech earpiece.’
      • ‘Ross isn't coming to the festival this year, but his shows feel like fan club gigs with audience members feeding the comic lines.’
      remind, cue, give someone a cue, help out, coach, feed
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    5. 2.5(in ball games) pass (the ball) to a player.
      • ‘He can feed the ball around the pitch and he has a wicked strike on him.’
      • ‘Catherine French and Rachel Doherty worked hard up front and Kate Bradley and Sarah Male were able to continually feed balls through to them.’
      • ‘Kearney, who was looking sharp again, combined with Windass on the left touchline before feeding the ball into Dele Adebola in the Hull penalty area.’
      • ‘One thing that really helps is if a parent is willing to share time with them even if nothing more than feeding the ball for shooting practice.’
      • ‘He can kick with both feet, and does some super brilliant runs, pushing forward, making space so that he can then feed the ball through to those willing to take it.’
      • ‘They don't have that one guy to keep feeding the ball in the most crucial moments.’
      • ‘He's the absolute best I've ever seen at feeding the ball to the pitcher at the bag.’
      • ‘Five minutes later Carelse fed the ball to Kasinauyo, who scored from an acute angle to seal the game in the dying minutes.’
      • ‘From the clearance by Will Driver, Oliver Moulton fed the ball to Fred Atkinson who was inches wide with a well struck effort.’
      • ‘Near half-time Pool's Martin Roberts broke away and fed the ball out to the right.’
      • ‘Seedorf, though, was beginning to exert a strong influence on the Dutch, dropping off the front players, feeding the ball into them and making himself space to control return passes.’
      • ‘Twenty minutes later Erwin Koeman fed a long ball into Van Basten from the left, the unfortunate Kohler was penalised and thus began Holland's happy ending.’
      • ‘The ball was fed to Kelley who crashed through four tackles before being somewhat harshly adjudged to have used his elbow in fending off the fifth.’
      • ‘With the ball, there's no question what Marty Schottenheimer wants to do: feed the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson and let him run.’
      • ‘The Longhorns need somebody to feed the ball to, and Tucker has skill and experience.’
      • ‘The ball was fed to Nazha and he fired in a shot from six yards.’
      • ‘The Pistons went to ridiculous lengths to feed the ball to Stackhouse.’
      • ‘Instead, Krenzel operated on smarts and savvy, avoiding the mistake and feeding the ball to those hard-charging running backs.’
      • ‘Robbie Painter fed the loose ball to Paul Helliwell, but Boswell got a firm hand to his cross and deflected the ball away.’
      • ‘Guards Timmy Bowers and Gary Ervin will be more effective feeding the ball inside and keeping defenses honest on the perimeter.’
  • 3 Cause to pass gradually and steadily, typically through a confined space.

    ‘make holes through which to feed the cables’
    • ‘It was the conduit for feeding the cable to the sea-bed.’
    • ‘Sanders does not use intermediate supports as his yarder works on an endless running line that is fed around two capstan wheels.’
    • ‘I attached the stand, feeding the VGA cable through the appropriate slot, then looked for the power socket.’
    • ‘Consultant cardiologist Dr Peter Clarkson said a coronary angiography involved a small tube being fed into the patient's heart via an artery in the leg.’
    • ‘The fountain pen, equipped with a reusable cartridge for holding a large supply of ink to be steadily fed to the nib, was a late 19c advance on the basic metal-nibbed pen.’
    • ‘The public are seeing some very skilful engineering to directly drill under the beck and feed the cables through.’
    1. 3.1[no object](of a new factor or development) begin to be effective or influential; have an impact on someone or something.
      ‘it could take time for higher earnings and dividends to feed through to investors’
      • ‘So 2004 and 2005 are much better years as global recovery eventually transpires and the impact of lower interest rates feeds through.’
      • ‘The danger of high long-term oil prices feeding through to wage demands also remains a concern.’
      • ‘Their show saw a 12% rise in listeners in the last quarter and Jackson has his fingers crossed that growth will feed through to the rest of the schedule.’
      • ‘But that praise and recognition did not feed through into sales.’
      • ‘Mr King said this can be explained by the impact of Budget 2001 income tax cuts feeding through the system.’
      • ‘The strong commodity prices that Australia benefited from are beginning to feed through to higher consumer prices in Asia.’
      • ‘NHS chief executives now believe that they have the resources to do their job properly and the benefits are already feeding through.’
      • ‘The huge burden feeds through to small businesses in a disproportionate way.’
      • ‘Encouragingly, the growth in output and new orders is feeding through into higher employment.’
      • ‘It suggests a growing awareness of the need for research and development that is starting to feed through to Irish manufacturing.’
      • ‘However, is there any evidence that its effects feed through to the macro-economy?’
      • ‘The higher growth in inputs used suggests that much of their impact has still to feed through into output.’
      • ‘It may take time before the gentle economic improvement feeds through to industrial property demand.’
      • ‘The economy is experiencing weaker demand but higher prices as the rise in oil prices feeds through down the supply chain.’
      • ‘People can still barely see improvements feeding through from the more recent loosening of the Chancellor's expenditure.’
      • ‘Furthermore, improvements to regulation which are now feeding through will make them stronger yet.’
      • ‘While that kind of experience has been lacking in Ireland, it has begun to feed through from larger firms, Sandys said.’
      • ‘When the company unveils its full-year results on Monday, investors will be looking for signs that the recent stock market revival will feed through to boost the bottom line.’
      • ‘But the Frankfurt stock market recently hit a five-year high and there are hopes the feel-good factor could feed through to the property market.’
      • ‘We believe good training feeds through directly to the bottom line,’ says Brian McLaren, head of training and online training.’


  • 1An act of giving food, especially to animals or a baby, or of having food given to one.

    ‘the baby's morning feed’
    • ‘She told Sheffield's Medico-Legal centre her baby vomited twice after taking her morning feed.’
    • ‘The first things to try are offering your baby a feed and checking whether he needs a nappy change.’
    • ‘It is an extremely sad society if a mother has to dash off to sit in the toilet every time her baby needs a feed.’
    • ‘She helped me position the babies for their first feeds.’
    • ‘At the 4am feed, I take the baby into the bed with me and feed him lying down.’
    • ‘When women choose to breastfeed they shouldn't have to stay at home all day because their baby will need a feed.’
    • ‘All too often tube feeds and supplements are used for patients who are reluctant to feed because they are quicker.’
    • ‘Mr Spencer pointed out that in both cases the babies had taken a feed shortly before their death.’
    • ‘Arkle Chase was now the animal whose every feed, breath and step I'll be checking on between now and March 13.’
    • ‘Very preterm infants, who often have relatively delayed gastric emptying and intestinal peristalsis, may be slow to tolerate the introduction of gastric tube feeds.’
    • ‘Aqua Cat was at one of its permanent moorings, near to another mooring where the itinerary called for regularly staged shark feeds.’
    • ‘If you're making up an eight ounce bottle, for example, you could have four ounces of cooled boiled water in the fridge, then add four ounces of boiling water when your baby needs a feed.’
    • ‘Of the patients for whom tube feeds were held for an hour, 11 samples were inaccurate and 17 were accurate.’
    • ‘Many babies drift off to sleep during a feed, but as your baby grows, you need to teach him how to fall asleep without this.’
    1. 1.1informal A meal.
      ‘I gave him a big feed of rashers and eggs and mashed potatoes’
      • ‘However, they were a nice feed and it is hard to beat filleted, fresh fish.’
      • ‘One of the main reasons why I do, apart from the big feed and plenty of socialising is that the Festive Period means lashings and lashings of Racing.’
      • ‘With a table at the Lord Halifax-owned pub booked, we made sure we were geared up for a big feed - and we were not disappointed.’
      • ‘Any parent stumbling across the star would invite him for Sunday lunch for a good feed and slip him 20 quid towards a new jacket.’
      • ‘Any time he trundles back home to St. Helens (down Mersey way) he nips in his local eatery for a slap-up feed and more gossip than Heat themed chain of hairdressers.’
      • ‘Fishing is about getting yourself a nice feed, but in this day and age we need to learn to release our excess fish.’
      • ‘Our nation is weaker for a game that can't supply a decent feed and shuns a fan's god-given right to select, chill and transport his own Frosties.’
      • ‘A hot shower, a feed of black pudding, a few pints and a big steak, together with a showing of the Peru videos, and what more could a person want.’
      • ‘For most people, a big feed of lobster is a special treat.’
      • ‘They were not big fish but all legal and a top feed.’
      • ‘It stated light buffet on the tickets, if that was a light buffet what on earth is a big feed in the Feehan household.’
      • ‘There is a fair chance that if you fish at these times around Ballina, Evans Head or Brunswick Heads, you should be able to catch a nice feed.’
      • ‘That's a great price for a big feed and all steak fans around York should consider a trip to sample this restaurant's speciality.’
      • ‘Every one in this hut has had parcels so we have been having great feeds & suppers.’
      • ‘I remembered this and asked if the camel had eaten barley and was told he got loose and ate a big feed.’
      • ‘We agreed on Pizza Hut where we had a big feed of cheesy garlic bread and pizza (obviously).’
      meal, lunch, dinner, supper, repast
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2[mass noun]Food for domestic animals.
      ‘the crops are grown for animal feed’
      ‘cow feed’
      • ‘Both adults and larvae consume poultry feed in amounts costly to the producer.’
      • ‘Cattle producers would use the information to select cows that require less feed.’
      • ‘In leaf vacuoles, nitrate can accumulate to high levels, which is undesirable if vegetative plant parts are used for food or animal feed.’
      • ‘It was a common ration, so some animals consumed the feed differently than their normal ration.’
      • ‘Finally, demand for organic animal feed is growing.’
      • ‘Some 30,000 acres in northeast Colorado have been transitioned to provide organic feed for the dairy.’
      • ‘Supplements of bacteria types or compounds that inhibit methane production could be placed in cow feed to reduce methane production.’
      • ‘It is now cultivated for forage feed, but you can purchase triticale from health food shops.’
      • ‘She says the government needs to ban byproducts from cattle and similar animals from all livestock feed.’
      • ‘Keller adds soybean meal and manmade supplements to the feed.’
      • ‘The decision to permit imports of GM animal feed by the EU is after rigorous testing over many years.’
      • ‘Until now the only way to enrich livestock with these fatty acids was to supplement their feed with expensive fish meal, Kang explains.’
      • ‘The problem is that, here in the United States, animal feed is still fed back to livestock.’
      • ‘The low-quality dates and the date pits are used as animal feed for cows and sheep.’
      • ‘He kills wildlife - birds, deer, kangaroo, and all kinds of cat, rabbits, mice and foxes - by the million to protect his domestic animals and their feed.’
      • ‘‘The cost of producing feed to that cow has to drop from that of a total mixed ration’ he says.’
      • ‘BSE is not a contagious disease but occurs when cows eat feed that contains infected animal products.’
      • ‘Farmers fed expensive concentrate feed to have cattle fit in July and August.’
      • ‘The disease spreads when cows ingest animal feed made with parts from dead animals.’
      • ‘In Ireland grass is the cheapest animal feed and rates nutritionally among the best food sources for cows.’
      fodder, food, foodstuff, forage, pasturage, herbage, silage
      View synonyms
  • 2A device or pipe for supplying material to a machine.

    ‘a paper feed’
    • ‘These parameters are used by the system controller to determine the rotational speed and the vertical feed of the machine spindle.’
    • ‘This printer provides a standard paper tray plus a 24 inch-wide paper manual feed.’
    • ‘The largest is the drawer machine which has 4 feeds and knits from four bobbins.’
    • ‘Additional standpipe feeds for the water sprinkler system were installed.’
    • ‘I wrote my name on a blank sheet of notebook paper, and tried to push it into the shredder, but I couldn't quite line the paper up with the feed.’
    • ‘It appears that there is a small pump or some type of device that controls the water feeds for both of the items.’
    1. 2.1The supply of raw material to a machine or device.
      [as modifier] ‘a feed pipe’
      • ‘Iron bed rollers were supplied on the hand feed machine.’
      • ‘Shade and water misters were provided over partial locations along the feed line.’
      • ‘Now that we've seen the speeds and feeds, let's move on to performance.’
      • ‘The rubber grinding machine includes a feed tube, a grinding module, a conveyor, a screening module and a vacuum system.’
      • ‘In new construction, there is no need for a flush valve, sensor or a water feed line for the urinals.’
      • ‘The printer takes only 250 sheets of letter paper at a time, with legal paper usable only via its manual feed front paper slot.’
    2. 2.2A broadcast distributed by a satellite or network from a central source to a large number of radio or television stations.
      ‘a satellite feed from Washington’
      • ‘A live feed will be broadcast from San Diego to Iraq and Afghanistan.’
      • ‘We've been running updates on it for a few days off the NBC feed.’
      • ‘Instead there will be a computer receiving and broadcasting the feed from some undisclosed location in the ether.’
      • ‘Combined with a Tivo-type pvr, the mobile phone will just scoop news and other relevant broadcast feeds for your supreme convenience.’
      • ‘You cannot set up in a stadium with a live feed without a mobile broadcast unit, so I assume there's one around the corner.’
      • ‘The cameras would be unobtrusive and broadcasters would co-operate on feeds from the proceedings.’
      • ‘TV will take the video feed and Radio can extract the sound.’
      • ‘The show is broadcast on the ABC radio feed and can be heard in Kansas City and Knoxville, among other place.’
      • ‘News chiefs from ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC television networks pledged to vet incoming feeds and not broadcast them live.’
      • ‘With live video feeds via satellite to a global market, much of the ugliness of war is brought into homes almost everywhere.’
      • ‘It has feeds from tv and radio media sources around the world.’
      • ‘He also lets network crews jockey for space and provides a video feed to broadcasters worldwide.’
      • ‘Luckily, someone who wants to produce a bare-bones syndication feed does not need to work very hard.’
      • ‘The live feed was also broadcast globally by the Sirius satellite radio network.’
      • ‘The changes will extend to working with CBS affiliates and the CBS network to receive national feeds of stories of interest to the black community.’
      • ‘Other channels are audio feeds of television stations.’
      • ‘Since access is extremely limited, they'll have to render from international broadcast feeds in lieu of taking their own video.’
      • ‘Three TV channels broadcast the same feed - in Thai language only.’
      • ‘The hourly news bulletins on weekdays are feeds from Independent Radio News.’
      • ‘The daily news feed gives the latest technology stories that affect your career and working life.’
      broadcast, transmission, programme, communication, telecast, show, feed, livestream
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3Computing A facility for notifying the user of a blog or other frequently updated website that new content has been added.
      ‘most blogs and news sites offer RSS feeds of their latest content’
      • ‘The impact of this distribution method would be related to the popularity of the feed.’
      • ‘You can view feeds individually, or group them into convenient categories.’
      • ‘At this point, you should see your feed at the bottom of the page.’
      • ‘Market penetration from RSS feeds could easily outdo Google's popular Adsense advertising medium.’
      • ‘The only software I couldn't find that satisfied me was a good RSS reader for news feeds.’
      • ‘For readers that had already subscribed to a blog with the unspliced feed, there was little incentive to switch.’
      • ‘You can also opt to visit some web sites that let you search for a wide variety of feeds.’
      • ‘All I'm doing is changing my Twitter feed.’
      • ‘The news feed, now considered the central selling point of the site, was reintroduced with greater controls.’
      • ‘I thus can repeat the above commands with the syndication feed from my Weblog.’
      • ‘Here are some easy directions for adding a feed to your site.’
      • ‘We're proud to say that the Desktop Sidebar comes included with The Register RSS feed.’
      • ‘You can opt to customize how your feeds appear, display images in feeds, view article tags, among other things.’
      • ‘You can even set a refresh rate based on the individual feed.’
      • ‘At the beginning of this week I had 310 feeds showing around 25,000 unread posts.’
      • ‘The newspaper's content flow thus would be a flow of many Atom feeds into a single, final feed representing the newspaper itself.’
      • ‘It certainly can be a possible way of distributing malicious code over the internet to the subscribers of the RSS feed.’
      • ‘To keep informed about the most prevalent hoaxes, you can add a free Sophos information feed to your own website or intranet.’
      • ‘There are a number of affiliates who are successfully using data feeds.’
      • ‘The Learning Channel substituted a BBC television news feed for its own programming.’
  • 3A line or prompt given to an actor on stage.

    • ‘Simon needed our kid to speak up and give him the feed line of ‘no’ so he could deliver his line and then subsequent cheap shot.’
    1. 3.1An actor who gives a feed to a fellow performer.
      • ‘I don't count - I'm only a feed.’


  • off one's feed

    • informal Having no appetite.

      • ‘It's the near-flippant attitude towards them in the film that puts me off my feed a bit.’
      • ‘Even if I haven't had any of it, the very thought is almost enough to put me off my feed.’
      • ‘Otherwise, watching them might have put him off his feed.’
      • ‘You complained about the ubiquity of music in some restaurants, as if the mere presence of a cover band was enough to put you off your feed.’
      • ‘I can understand them not wanting people looking at the website in there, as it might put other customers off their feed.’
      • ‘She has been what my late father would call ‘off her feed’ for the past couple of days but fairly even-tempered.’
      • ‘She said no and I went completely off my feed for a long time and moped around for ages.’
      • ‘Sometimes when I'm ‘off my feed’ and not feeling up to polite society it's better for me to have something in my hands.’
      • ‘That undertone in the woman's voice put Lee off his feed instantly.’
      • ‘I know when you're off your feed and I've had a few babies myself.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • feed back

    • (of an electrical or other system) produce feedback.

      • ‘It has pickups on it - when I turn up my amp, it'll feed back.’
      • ‘It's the same thing that makes an electric guitar feed back.’
  • feed out

    • Distribute hay or silage to livestock as supplementary feed.

      ‘his son feeds out hay to the sheep’
      • ‘In the severe droughts of the 1980s and 1990s, you would have seen us feeding out a lot of expensive grain and hay to our animals.’
      • ‘He likes the way they fall into line when he's feeding out.’
      • ‘The artwork spread across both truck and trailer depicts healthy young female farm workers feeding out straw to a herd of cows.’
      • ‘On the day I had to feed out twelve tonnes of finishing mix, four tonnes of starter mix, and two tonnes of hay, the wind was blowing a gale.’
      • ‘The dairy farmer said the "big dry" had become so severe he was now feeding out $800 worth of supplementary feed every day to keep his cows milking.’


Old English fēdan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch voeden and food.