Definition of featherbed in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfeT͟Hərˌbed/


(also feather bed)
A bed that has a mattress stuffed with feathers.
Example sentences
  • Another option is a fluffy feather bed that adds some extra cushion to the mattress and some warmth to the nighttime.
  • Will I get running water, a nice feather bed, perhaps a private stash of rum?
  • Before retiring to your cozy feather bed in the antiques-filled 1902 house, slip out to the gazebo-screened hot tub (robe and slippers provided).


(also feather-bed) [with object]
1Provide (someone) with advantageous economic or working conditions: apart from the fees he earns, a practicing lawyer is not featherbedded in any way
More example sentences
  • We are feather-bedding them all at our expense!
  • One said: ‘Why should he be feather-bedded when they've already missed one target launch date?’
  • You cannot expect people to feather-bed these public sector employees while being robbed blind by spendthrift councils and Government taxes.
1.1 (usually as noun featherbedding) Deliberately limit production or retain excess staff in (a business) in order to create jobs or prevent unemployment, typically as a result of a union contract.
Example sentences
  • Secondly, there is the argument that the country would be far better off buying the kit for the armed services from the best supplier - of whatever nationality - than featherbedding the defence sector with soft contracts.
  • As time went by, he became increasingly irritated by the rampant featherbedding he discovered.
  • The Treasury has also announced plans to employ an extra 210,000 over the next three years so that, by election year 2006, we can expect the state payroll to be featherbedding 5.5 million voters.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: feath·er·bed

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