Definition of drip feed in US English:

drip feed


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

    • ‘This self-watering plant pot's main feature is a medical drip feed.’
    • ‘This is often used by bikes which have a drip feed to the chains.’
    1. 1.1 A device that passes fluid, nutrients, or drugs drop by drop into a patient's body on a continuous basis, usually intravenously.
      ‘he had been on a drip feed for several days’
      • ‘The treatment, which began in April 2001, was a tiny backpack which Jack carried with him at all times, that would drip feed drugs into his heart every four minutes to keep him alive.’
      • ‘This time she was put on a drip feed because she was not in a position to argue against it.’
      • ‘A slow intravenous drip feed of diazepam over 90 minutes had the desired effect.’
      • ‘Feeding difficulties can be minimized by switching the patient to continuous drip feeds.’
      • ‘I was not able to argue with them when told that, for medical reasons, the baby had to be put on a drip feed.’
      • ‘He might have added that anyone hooked up to a drip-feed in a hospital could clear off as well, since a hospital for women and children was precisely one of the targets bombed last night according to residents.’


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

    ‘the oiler drip-feeds oil onto all drive chains’
    • ‘You could, instead of using a tube, you could have a nurse stand over Terri and drip feed food down her throat.’
    • ‘Those that can't cope without water are drip-fed via a computer irrigation system.’
    • ‘Her mother then tries to drip feed her with a syringe, but she won't take the liquid.’
    1. 1.1 Supply (a patient) with fluid, nutrients, or drugs through a drip feed.
      • ‘That was a sensible price for what is an interesting, but very early stage, company whose second big product - a syringe pump, able to drip-feed drugs into the body over long periods - is even more exciting.’
      • ‘For four-and-a-half years he wore a tiny backpack at all times, being drip-fed vital drugs into his heart every four minutes to keep him alive.’
      • ‘Every five days he is taken to hospital to be drip-fed.’


drip feed

/ˈdrip ˌfēd//ˈdrɪp ˌfid/