Definition of feed in English:



  • 1Give food to.

    ‘did you remember to feed the cat?’
    with two objects ‘she fed him bits of biscuit’
    • ‘Through taking a dog for a walk or feeding the cat, patients gain a fragment of normality in a new abnormal world.’
    • ‘Steers were then fed starting at approximately 0800 h and were fed once daily.’
    • ‘‘These people are giving their services for free so we wanted to do our bit by feeding them,’ he said.’
    • ‘I'm the one who usually feeds the cat because I wake first and because I'm here more often in the early evening.’
    • ‘Ideally, you will need to get recommendations about the amounts of food to feed your dog from your vet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After feeding his cat, he'd jump in his car for the 15-minute drive to work.’
    • ‘There's nothing like it out there, nothing that's packaged in convenient small sizes for a mother who's feeding a baby.’
    • ‘Grandpa insists on feeding the dogs good food to keep them healthy for the big hunt.’
    • ‘The woman said she fed her baby before leaving Detroit but the child became hungry again.’
    • ‘Stray cats will not be fed anything except dry cat food.’
    • ‘But his dogs remember who feeds them when they're home.’
    • ‘It's a bit like looking after someone's dog and feeding it expensive dog food.’
    • ‘In Trial 2, steers fed hay had less shrink than those fed the 55 % concentrate diet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fish were fed once or twice a day on flake food and were fed live food (bloodworms and brine shrimp) every 2 weeks.’
    • ‘She feeds the stray cats that wander through the backyard so there's always a dish of kitty kibble on their table.’
    • ‘Remember to feed the dog and don't burn the house down.’
    • ‘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.’
    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. 1.1no object (especially of an animal or baby) take food; eat something.
      ‘the baby will feed according to her needs’
      • ‘This is land where sheep and cattle feed.’
      • ‘Many mothers can experience discomfort and often wonder whether their babies are feeding correctly.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is not much information available about where the birds are feeding and their nesting habitat closer to the marsh.’
      • ‘In between, delegates visited Okupuka Ranch for a game drive to watch lions feeding.’
      • ‘When I went to visit them Dang was looking extremely pleased with herself and the puppies were feeding contentedly.’
      • ‘I saw this bird feeding, its head concentrated on the bough of a beech tree.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We heard a branch breaking on our right and saw a cow but then the tracker heard an elephant feeding about 100 meters up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Down in the hollow just north of me are three deer feeding along the field edge.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Perhaps because the sharks feed at night, the fish had nothing to fear during the day.’
      eat, take nourishment, partake of food, consume food, devour food, have a meal
      graze, browse, crop, pasture, ruminate
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    2. 1.2feed someone/something upBritish Give a person or animal large amounts of food.
      ‘you look as though you need feeding up’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We had to feed the puppies up and rehydrate them.’
      • ‘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. 1.3 Provide an adequate supply of food for.
      ‘the island's simple agriculture could hardly feed its inhabitants’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘More than £1.5 billion has been spent by the UN on housing and feeding them, mainly provided by Western nations.’
      • ‘Right now, the program provides enough food to feed the country's people.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Today, we need to fight at two ends of the spectrum - feeding the millions and ensuring what we feed them is nutritionally adequate.’
      • ‘We could hardly afford to feed ourselves, let alone contribute to some dude's retirement fund.’
      • ‘The crops should have provided enough to feed the 65-year-old woman and her 18-year-old grandson.’
      • ‘The Chinese government has also provided assistance to help feed the hungry in Asia and in Africa.’
      • ‘It is said that genetically modified foods will ensure that the entire world can be fed adequately and nutritiously.’
      • ‘Conventional wisdom holds that the country is looking for aid to help feed its starving population.’
      • ‘There are numerous better ways to help feed the world's hungry, even in crisis situations.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Over 65 million people can now hardly feed themselves, while the government spends billions on arms.’
      • ‘How would you feed everyone, provide water, medications, etc.?’
      • ‘In other words, agriculture provided labour for the new factories in the towns and, eventually, food supplies to feed the new industrial working class.’
      nurture, nourish, give food to, provide board for
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    4. 1.4feed on/offno object Derive regular nourishment from (a particular substance)
      ‘the bird feeds on cliff-top vegetation’
      figurative ‘his powerful mind fed off political discussion’
      • ‘Birds should also be encouraged to feed on caterpillars, slugs and other pests.’
      • ‘The bird usually feeds on shrimps and larvae using its huge bill to sieve food from water.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The banded coral shrimp feeds on parasites that live on reef fish.’
      • ‘All feed primarily on plant material, either fruit, nectar or pollen.’
      • ‘This shark feeds primarily on bony fishes such as parrot, trigger, squirrel, surgeon, damsel and goat fishes as well as eels.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is not hard to predict that, under such conditions, the political parties that feed off hatred of foreigners and racism will flourish.’
      • ‘For example, the cassowary (a large flightless bird) feeds on bright blue and red fruit.’
      • ‘This species of shark feeds primarily on benthic (bottom-dwelling) invertebrates.’
      • ‘This bird is quite common in the urban areas where it feeds on refuse and carrions, and hence its dirty reputation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Alien plants often don't attract insects, which means there is nothing for birds to feed on.’
      • ‘His depression constantly occupies a corner of his mind, feeding off his insecurities and frustrations and enveloping him when he least expects it.’
      • ‘The snail lives around the flushes of natural springs in the Sand Dale area, where it feeds on the lush vegetation.’
      • ‘These may feed on different substances and so be able to coexist, or they may compete for the same substance.’
      live on, live off, exist on, subsist on, rely for nourishment on, depend on, thrive on
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    5. 1.5 Give fertilizer to (a plant)
      ‘feed the lawn in spring and autumn’
      • ‘Fall is the preferred time for feeding northern grasses and midspring for southern ones.’
      • ‘Once the plants die, they release the fixed nitrogen to feed the subsequent crop.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The elements and the wood of the tree have fed the lichens and mosses.’
      • ‘Their droppings feed the fungus in the ground and can also be a source of infection for people.’
      • ‘Excess nutrients from sewage or fertilizers flow into coastal waters, feeding algae blooms that block sunlight and smother corals.’
      • ‘He said the compost in turn then goes to feed the flowers around the school.’
      • ‘As long as the tree is fed regularly, such soils shouldn't be a problem.’
      • ‘In return, the plants' roots release carbohydrates to feed the fungi.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He hasn't fed his bent grass lawn in 10 years, and he says it looks fine.’
      • ‘Alfalfa meal and recycled sludge feed the flowers.’
      • ‘After they take off, Betty feeds her plants liquid fertilizer with a teaspoon of gelatin powder mixed into each gallon.’
      • ‘They analyze the soil, figuring out how to augment nutrients to feed the vines.’
      • ‘Speaking of fertilizer, you can use a granular or water soluble fertilizer to feed your hungry plants.’
      • ‘Rain falling on the compost will feed the plants.’
      • ‘In the use of the nutrients that feed our crops, China is now far and away the world leader.’
      add fertilizer to, enrich with fertilizer, mulch, compost, manure, dung, dress, top-dress
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    6. 1.6 Put fuel on (a fire).
      • ‘Thick smoke choked its capital, Sydney, population 4 million, as strong winds fed the fires surrounding it.’
      • ‘I griped the glass in my hand and then I threw it into the flames, letting it feed the enraged fire.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sub-officer Gary Hastings said that oil and fuel in the vehicles was pooling at the base of the fire and feeding the flames.’
      • ‘Grabbing an old paperback dictionary she'd been using to keep her desk legs balanced, she ripped pages out to feed the fire.’
      • ‘Gas used for household heating and lighting merely fed the fire.’
      • ‘At least three people died in a huge fire fed by shoes.’
      • ‘In My Childhood, one of the earliest moments sees Jamie coming home with only four pieces of coal with which to feed the fire.’
      • ‘Once ignited, the updraft of air within the flue will feed this chimney fire, causing it to grow rapidly and producing very high temperatures.’
      • ‘I got up and went over to feed the dying fire in the fireplace before returning to my seat.’
      • ‘You have to stoke the body the same way you would feed a fire.’
      • ‘This fortunate outcome most likely stems form the absence of fuel to explode and feed a post-crash fire.’
      • ‘They say on April 28 the fire was fed by files in a records room with a wooden floor.’
      • ‘But when the door is opened and oxygen again feeds the fire, flames can suddenly erupt again.’
      • ‘He collected some driftwood to feed the fire he was to make.’
      • ‘In their effort to stay warm, they kept their fireplace ablaze by burning library books, feeding the fire continually for that much needed warmth.’
      • ‘So after feeding the fire they both fell asleep.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If oxygen feeds fire and hydrogen is explosive, then why isn't water combustible?’
      • ‘Sure enough, underneath the grill inside the restaurant, sacks of mesquite charcoal stand ready to feed the open fire.’
    7. 1.7 Encourage the growth of.
      ‘I could feed my melancholy by reading Romantic poetry’
      • ‘As it is, KPL has developed a remarkably effective mechanism for feeding growth with new talent.’
      • ‘Travel became glamorous and fast, entertainment a mass industry and advertising spending mushroomed to feed the growth in consumerism.’
      • ‘This cheap and readily available protection encourages speculation, which feeds the boom.’
      • ‘Efforts to shut down dangerous coal mines have been complicated by the country's demands for power to feed its booming economy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 corollary then would be that the rest are simply dreamers, but what's wrong with providing readers with material to feed those dreams?’
      • ‘Like all industry chiefs, Oxburgh has a blind spot that conveniently overlooks how state-corporate power is relentlessly feeding a suicidal system of globalisation.’
      • ‘We know music enriches the human spirit, feeds the emotions and provides solace, peace, beauty and passion to our inner being.’
      • ‘The Olympics surge is feeding the economic growth process at the moment, particularly in Sydney, but this is by its very nature temporary.’
      • ‘Hate is fed by ignorance and incompetence.’
      • ‘Yet the very thing that nurtures our growth also feeds our discontent.’
      • ‘The release of such material fed speculation that he was out to destroy the president.’
      • ‘Today's crude oil prices reflect nothing more than a market bubble fed by speculation and unwarranted fear.’
      • ‘A leader must harness and nurture that drive, feed it, and encourage it to grow.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The resulting rapid growth further fed the ambitions of the ‘new society’.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And police in the city hope the minister's promise will help smash the cycle of criminals committing crime to feed drugs habits.’
      • ‘A serial offender who stole to feed a drug habit and then handed himself in has been sentenced to four months in prison.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sgt Spedding believes the burglaries are the work of only two or three people, mostly stealing to feed drug habits.’
      • ‘Many addicts fall into crime to feed their habits.’
      • ‘The friendship the two men form, and the ways in which they manage to feed their addictions, provide the basic thrust of the film.’
      • ‘A number of the women would also get involved with shoplifting to feed their drugs habits.’
      • ‘The majority of drug addicts will commit crimes to feed their habit.’
      • ‘Carly turned to prostitution to feed her drug habit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then there is the argument from the ill-informed that young people turn to crime to feed their drug habit.’
      • ‘He burgled homes in a bid to feed his drug habit and was caught and sent to prison.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘These are to handle cases of people accused not only of drug use but of property crimes to feed their drug habits.’
      • ‘They push heroin, and commit crimes to feed their own habits.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘Liberal use of risers or exothermic compound ensures adequate molten metal to feed all sections of the casting.’
    • ‘Several irrigation drip lines feed the tower, one or two at the top and another in the middle.’
    • ‘And the creek line is actually the creek line that fed the first farm or watered the first farm for the early colonists.’
    • ‘The retaining wall of the rivulet feeding the Gaj Power Project was also breached.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As the snow melts, water slowly per-colates through the ground, steadily feeding the springs that replenish these gushers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The BASH converter in turn converts this gate pulse into a power signal that feeds the power amplifier's main supply rails.’
    • ‘A small research reactor at the center has been modified, and a particle accelerator is to be built to feed the reactor with neutrons.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Squeezing past a tatty door and stepping on electric cables that fed the heaters, I entered a poorly lit interior.’
    1. 2.1 Put into a machine.
      ‘the programs are fed into the computer’
      ‘Kevin fed coins into the jukebox’
      • ‘The image is fed into the computer, which will recognise their faces from any of the 300 cameras in the CCTV scheme.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The data is fed into computers to create extremely accurate maps.’
      • ‘The ballots were fed into another machine for tabulation.’
      • ‘On the prepack line, a roll of pouches is fed into the filling machine, which blows each pouch open with a puff of air.’
      • ‘This would then be fed into ACR's machine, which can create more precise shapes than most prototypers.’
      • ‘To prevent cutter wear, fresh wire is continuously fed into the machine.’
      • ‘The sheets are fed into the machine and then bent to the desired angle, leaving a sharp and accurate crease in the metal.’
      • ‘As they watched, one of the players shambled over to the jukebox and fed a handful of coins into it.’
      • ‘She sings, it is fed into a machine and it emerges like a string of sausages - processed and bland.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Postmortem details from victims, such as dental structure and DNA samples, are being fed into the computer.’
      • ‘At Tori & Shari, however, any cost adjustments brought about by, say, small mackerel hauls were simply fed into the computer.’
      • ‘As he fed coins into it and peered confused into the handset, I tried to help.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Those that are sealed and returned will be fed into the scanning machines starting Friday, she said.’
      • ‘Pallissaro fed a few more coins into the ravenous meter until it showed a fourteen pounds credit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some counties, including Bay County, use paper ballots that are fed into an optical scanner, so a recount is possible if there are questions.’
    2. 2.2 Insert further coins into (a meter) to extend the time for which it operates.
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Parking Meter bonus brings five free spins, and when coins appear on the reels to feed the meters, bonuses multiply.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I remember one cold winter weekend when I was alone in the flat with no money to feed the electricity meter.’
      • ‘It needn't be complicated: you can hold the door for someone or feed a meter that's about to expire.’
      • ‘Shaggy parked there on a recent visit and went to feed the meter.’
      • ‘Whoever it was that made the call must have seen me leave the building to feed that parking meter.’
      • ‘A drunk might steal shillings set aside to feed the gas meter.’
      • ‘Both get your hair styled, and while she has her makeup tweaked, you can go and feed the meter.’
      • ‘Manfred only feeds the meters if people are going to be booked and estimates he spends up to $3 a day.’
      • ‘They can run errands worth various numbers of points, but they must make time for these errands by feeding their meter.’
      • ‘I went to try and feed the meter, but it had a case of indigestion.’
      • ‘Crowley asked if he himself would have to leave his office every hour to feed the meter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It happened so fast I actually missed her arrival thanks to a four-minute sprint to feed the parking meter.’
    3. 2.3with two objects Supply (someone) with (information, ideas, etc.)
      ‘I think he is feeding his old employer commercial secrets’
      • ‘Close aides of the president have denied feeding him wrong information resulting in his controversial statements or policies.’
      • ‘Prospective candidates are fed misleading information about the organization to discourage them from pursuing their application.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At Dawson's trial, Owen repeated the detailed information that Pollard fed him earlier.’
      • ‘Your statement was patently ridiculous, and I can't help but wonder who fed you such information.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘By deceiving the attacker, the defender feeds him false information and forces him to waste time in fruitless assaults, thereby blunting future attacks.’
      • ‘But we're not fed information, this is not Communist Russia, we have to do independent journalism.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The more information you feed your children, the more alert they'll be when the time comes for them to use it.’
      • ‘Journalists and revolutionists worked hand in hand to expose the injustices of the Spaniards, and fed the people with ideas of democracy.’
      • ‘Ben has been feeding me information for weeks.’
      • ‘Jackson had been able to keep Smith happy by feeding him information.’
      • ‘Are the press also to blame for feeding us this information, or do we have a right to know?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead of information, he feeds us propaganda that, again and again, we later find out to be lies.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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. 2.4with two objects Prompt (an actor) with (a line)
      ‘you were still in the wings feeding Micky his lines’
      • ‘Terry Taylor helps feed me lines over the headsets.’
      • ‘So, via a very unique performance style, Magnani was fed her lines by a dialogue coach, and she mimicked the sounds she heard.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘The ball was fed to Nazha and he fired in a shot from six yards.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Longhorns need somebody to feed the ball to, and Tucker has skill and experience.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Guards Timmy Bowers and Gary Ervin will be more effective feeding the ball inside and keeping defenses honest on the perimeter.’
      • ‘Instead, Krenzel operated on smarts and savvy, avoiding the mistake and feeding the ball to those hard-charging running backs.’
      • ‘He can feed the ball around the pitch and he has a wicked strike on him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Robbie Painter fed the loose ball to Paul Helliwell, but Boswell got a firm hand to his cross and deflected the ball away.’
      • ‘The Pistons went to ridiculous lengths to feed the ball to Stackhouse.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Five minutes later Carelse fed the ball to Kasinauyo, who scored from an acute angle to seal the game in the dying minutes.’
      • ‘He's the absolute best I've ever seen at feeding the ball to the pitcher at the bag.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They don't have that one guy to keep feeding the ball in the most crucial moments.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Catherine French and Rachel Doherty worked hard up front and Kate Bradley and Sarah Male were able to continually feed balls through to them.’
      channel, guide, direct, convey, move, pass
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  • 3 Cause to pass gradually and steadily, typically through a confined space.

    ‘make holes through which to feed the cables’
    • ‘I attached the stand, feeding the VGA cable through the appropriate slot, then looked for the power socket.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sanders does not use intermediate supports as his yarder works on an endless running line that is fed around two capstan wheels.’
    • ‘It was the conduit for feeding the cable to the sea-bed.’
    • ‘The public are seeing some very skilful engineering to directly drill under the beck and feed the cables through.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 3.1feed throughno 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’
      • ‘The economy is experiencing weaker demand but higher prices as the rise in oil prices feeds through down the supply chain.’
      • ‘Mr King said this can be explained by the impact of Budget 2001 income tax cuts feeding through the system.’
      • ‘Encouragingly, the growth in output and new orders is feeding through into higher employment.’
      • ‘The huge burden feeds through to small businesses in a disproportionate way.’
      • ‘The higher growth in inputs used suggests that much of their impact has still to feed through into output.’
      • ‘The strong commodity prices that Australia benefited from are beginning to feed through to higher consumer prices in Asia.’
      • ‘Furthermore, improvements to regulation which are now feeding through will make them stronger yet.’
      • ‘It may take time before the gentle economic improvement feeds through to industrial property demand.’
      • ‘We believe good training feeds through directly to the bottom line,’ says Brian McLaren, head of training and online training.’
      • ‘However, is there any evidence that its effects feed through to the macro-economy?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘People can still barely see improvements feeding through from the more recent loosening of the Chancellor's expenditure.’
      • ‘While that kind of experience has been lacking in Ireland, it has begun to feed through from larger firms, Sandys said.’
      • ‘The danger of high long-term oil prices feeding through to wage demands also remains a concern.’
      • ‘It suggests a growing awareness of the need for research and development that is starting to feed through to Irish manufacturing.’
      • ‘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 that praise and recognition did not feed through into sales.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘NHS chief executives now believe that they have the resources to do their job properly and the benefits are already feeding through.’
      • ‘So 2004 and 2005 are much better years as global recovery eventually transpires and the impact of lower interest rates feeds through.’


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

    ‘the baby's morning feed’
    • ‘The first things to try are offering your baby a feed and checking whether he needs a nappy change.’
    • ‘When women choose to breastfeed they shouldn't have to stay at home all day because their baby will need a feed.’
    • ‘Aqua Cat was at one of its permanent moorings, near to another mooring where the itinerary called for regularly staged shark feeds.’
    • ‘She helped me position the babies for their first feeds.’
    • ‘Very preterm infants, who often have relatively delayed gastric emptying and intestinal peristalsis, may be slow to tolerate the introduction of gastric tube feeds.’
    • ‘All too often tube feeds and supplements are used for patients who are reluctant to feed because they are quicker.’
    • ‘Arkle Chase was now the animal whose every feed, breath and step I'll be checking on between now and March 13.’
    • ‘At the 4am feed, I take the baby into the bed with me and feed him lying down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She told Sheffield's Medico-Legal centre her baby vomited twice after taking her morning feed.’
    • ‘Of the patients for whom tube feeds were held for an hour, 11 samples were inaccurate and 17 were accurate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mr Spencer pointed out that in both cases the babies had taken a feed shortly before their death.’
    1. 1.1informal A meal.
      ‘I gave him a big feed of rashers and eggs and mashed potatoes’
      • ‘For most people, a big feed of lobster is a special treat.’
      • ‘Fishing is about getting yourself a nice feed, but in this day and age we need to learn to release our excess fish.’
      • ‘However, they were a nice feed and it is hard to beat filleted, fresh fish.’
      • ‘They were not big fish but all legal and a top feed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We agreed on Pizza Hut where we had a big feed of cheesy garlic bread and pizza (obviously).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It stated light buffet on the tickets, if that was a light buffet what on earth is a big feed in the Feehan household.’
      • ‘I remembered this and asked if the camel had eaten barley and was told he got loose and ate a big feed.’
      • ‘Every one in this hut has had parcels so we have been having great feeds & suppers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      meal, lunch, dinner, supper, repast
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2mass noun Food for domestic animals.
      ‘the crops are grown for animal feed’
      ‘cow feed’
      • ‘Farmers fed expensive concentrate feed to have cattle fit in July and August.’
      • ‘In leaf vacuoles, nitrate can accumulate to high levels, which is undesirable if vegetative plant parts are used for food or animal feed.’
      • ‘She says the government needs to ban byproducts from cattle and similar animals from all livestock feed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is now cultivated for forage feed, but you can purchase triticale from health food shops.’
      • ‘The disease spreads when cows ingest animal feed made with parts from dead animals.’
      • ‘Supplements of bacteria types or compounds that inhibit methane production could be placed in cow feed to reduce methane production.’
      • ‘‘The cost of producing feed to that cow has to drop from that of a total mixed ration’ he says.’
      • ‘The problem is that, here in the United States, animal feed is still fed back to livestock.’
      • ‘Cattle producers would use the information to select cows that require less feed.’
      • ‘The low-quality dates and the date pits are used as animal feed for cows and sheep.’
      • ‘In Ireland grass is the cheapest animal feed and rates nutritionally among the best food sources for cows.’
      • ‘Some 30,000 acres in northeast Colorado have been transitioned to provide organic feed for the dairy.’
      • ‘Until now the only way to enrich livestock with these fatty acids was to supplement their feed with expensive fish meal, Kang explains.’
      • ‘The decision to permit imports of GM animal feed by the EU is after rigorous testing over many years.’
      • ‘Finally, demand for organic animal feed is growing.’
      • ‘It was a common ration, so some animals consumed the feed differently than their normal ration.’
      • ‘Keller adds soybean meal and manmade supplements to the feed.’
      • ‘Both adults and larvae consume poultry feed in amounts costly to the producer.’
      • ‘BSE is not a contagious disease but occurs when cows eat feed that contains infected animal products.’
      fodder, food, foodstuff, forage, pasturage, herbage, silage
      View synonyms
  • 2A device or pipe for supplying material to a machine.

    ‘a paper feed’
    • ‘Additional standpipe feeds for the water sprinkler system were installed.’
    • ‘These parameters are used by the system controller to determine the rotational speed and the vertical feed of the machine spindle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It appears that there is a small pump or some type of device that controls the water feeds for both of the items.’
    1. 2.1 The supply of raw material to a machine or device.
      as modifier ‘a feed pipe’
      • ‘Iron bed rollers were supplied on the hand feed machine.’
      • ‘The rubber grinding machine includes a feed tube, a grinding module, a conveyor, a screening module and a vacuum system.’
      • ‘Shade and water misters were provided over partial locations along the feed line.’
      • ‘The printer takes only 250 sheets of letter paper at a time, with legal paper usable only via its manual feed front paper slot.’
      • ‘In new construction, there is no need for a flush valve, sensor or a water feed line for the urinals.’
      • ‘Now that we've seen the speeds and feeds, let's move on to performance.’
    2. 2.2 A 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’
      • ‘Combined with a Tivo-type pvr, the mobile phone will just scoop news and other relevant broadcast feeds for your supreme convenience.’
      • ‘He also lets network crews jockey for space and provides a video feed to broadcasters worldwide.’
      • ‘Other channels are audio feeds of television stations.’
      • ‘The show is broadcast on the ABC radio feed and can be heard in Kansas City and Knoxville, among other place.’
      • ‘Luckily, someone who wants to produce a bare-bones syndication feed does not need to work very hard.’
      • ‘Instead there will be a computer receiving and broadcasting the feed from some undisclosed location in the ether.’
      • ‘Three TV channels broadcast the same feed - in Thai language only.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The live feed was also broadcast globally by the Sirius satellite radio network.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We've been running updates on it for a few days off the NBC feed.’
      • ‘A live feed will be broadcast from San Diego to Iraq and Afghanistan.’
      • ‘The cameras would be unobtrusive and broadcasters would co-operate on feeds from the proceedings.’
      • ‘The hourly news bulletins on weekdays are feeds from Independent Radio News.’
      • ‘It has feeds from tv and radio media sources around the world.’
      • ‘The daily news feed gives the latest technology stories that affect your career and working life.’
      • ‘Since access is extremely limited, they'll have to render from international broadcast feeds in lieu of taking their own video.’
      • ‘TV will take the video feed and Radio can extract the sound.’
      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 news feed, now considered the central selling point of the site, was reintroduced with greater controls.’
      • ‘At the beginning of this week I had 310 feeds showing around 25,000 unread posts.’
      • ‘I thus can repeat the above commands with the syndication feed from my Weblog.’
      • ‘You can also opt to visit some web sites that let you search for a wide variety of feeds.’
      • ‘It certainly can be a possible way of distributing malicious code over the internet to the subscribers of the RSS feed.’
      • ‘The only software I couldn't find that satisfied me was a good RSS reader for news feeds.’
      • ‘We're proud to say that the Desktop Sidebar comes included with The Register RSS feed.’
      • ‘The Learning Channel substituted a BBC television news feed for its own programming.’
      • ‘The newspaper's content flow thus would be a flow of many Atom feeds into a single, final feed representing the newspaper itself.’
      • ‘The impact of this distribution method would be related to the popularity of the feed.’
      • ‘For readers that had already subscribed to a blog with the unspliced feed, there was little incentive to switch.’
      • ‘You can even set a refresh rate based on the individual feed.’
      • ‘To keep informed about the most prevalent hoaxes, you can add a free Sophos information feed to your own website or intranet.’
      • ‘Here are some easy directions for adding a feed to your site.’
      • ‘Market penetration from RSS feeds could easily outdo Google's popular Adsense advertising medium.’
      • ‘There are a number of affiliates who are successfully using data feeds.’
      • ‘At this point, you should see your feed at the bottom of the page.’
      • ‘All I'm doing is changing my Twitter feed.’
      • ‘You can view feeds individually, or group them into convenient categories.’
      • ‘You can opt to customize how your feeds appear, display images in feeds, view article tags, among other things.’
  • 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.’
    reminder, cue, feed
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 An 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.

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

Phrasal Verbs

  • feed back

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

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

    • Distribute hay or silage to livestock as supplementary feed.

      ‘his son feeds out hay to the sheep’
      • ‘The artwork spread across both truck and trailer depicts healthy young female farm workers feeding out straw to a herd of cows.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He likes the way they fall into line when he's feeding out.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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