Definition of feed in English:

feed

Syllabification: feed
Pronunciation: /fēd
 
/

verb (pastand past participle fed /fed/)

[with object]
  • 1Give food to: the raiders fed the guard dog to keep it quiet [with two objects]: he fed her brownies he had just baked
    More example sentences
    • She got right down to work, feeding every dog their measured amount of food, then cleaning out their cages.
    • I'm the one who usually feeds the cat because I wake first and because I'm here more often in the early evening.
    • After feeding his cat, he'd jump in his car for the 15-minute drive to work.
    Synonyms
    give food to, provide (food) for, cater for, cook for
  • 1.1 [no object] (Especially of an animal or baby) take food; eat something: morays emerge at night to feed
    More example sentences
    • There is not much information available about where the birds are feeding and their nesting habitat closer to the marsh.
    • 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.
    Synonyms
    graze, browse, crop, pasture; eat, consume food, chow down
  • 1.2Provide an adequate supply of food for: the island’s simple agriculture could hardly feed its inhabitants
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • In other words, agriculture provided labour for the new factories in the towns and, eventually, food supplies to feed the new industrial working class.
    • Today, we need to fight at two ends of the spectrum - feeding the millions and ensuring what we feed them is nutritionally adequate.
  • 1.3 [no object] (feed on/off) Derive regular nourishment from (a particular substance): the bird feeds on cliff-top vegetation figurative his powerful mind fed off political discussion
    More example sentences
    • These may feed on different substances and so be able to coexist, or they may compete for the same substance.
    • 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.
    Synonyms
    live on/off, exist on, subsist on, eat, consume
  • 1.4Encourage the growth of: I could feed my melancholy by reading Romantic poetry
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • Hate is fed by ignorance and incompetence.
    • The release of such material fed speculation that he was out to destroy the president.
    Synonyms
    strengthen, fortify, support, bolster, reinforce, boost, fuel, encourage
  • 1.5Give fertilizer to (a plant).
    More example sentences
    • He hasn't fed his bent grass lawn in 10 years, and he says it looks fine.
    • He said the compost in turn then goes to feed the flowers around the school.
    • After they take off, Betty feeds her plants liquid fertilizer with a teaspoon of gelatin powder mixed into each gallon.
  • 1.6Put fuel on (a fire).
    More example sentences
    • This fortunate outcome most likely stems form the absence of fuel to explode and feed a post-crash 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.
    • But when the door is opened and oxygen again feeds the fire, flames can suddenly erupt again.
  • 2Supply (a machine) with material, power, or other things necessary for its operation: the programs are fed into the computer
    More example sentences
    • 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 ballots were fed into another machine for tabulation.
    • This would then be fed into ACR's machine, which can create more precise shapes than most prototypers.
  • 2.1 [with two objects] Supply (someone) with (information, ideas, etc.): I think he is feeding his old employer commercial secrets
    More example sentences
    • The more information you feed your children, the more alert they'll be when the time comes for them to use it.
    • 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.
    • But we're not fed information, this is not Communist Russia, we have to do independent journalism.
    Synonyms
    supply, provide, give, deliver, furnish, issue, pass on
  • 2.2Supply water to (a body of water): the pond is fed by a small stream [no object]: water feeds into the lower pool
  • 2.3Insert further coins into (a meter) to extend the time for which it operates.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 2.4 [with two objects] Prompt (an actor) with (a line): you were still in the wings feeding Micky his lines
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 2.5(In ball games) pass (the ball) to a player: he took the ball and fed Salley
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • He can feed the ball around the pitch and he has a wicked strike on him.
    • 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.
  • 2.6 Distribute (a broadcast) to local television or radio stations via satellite or network: programs that the national networks feed to local stations
    More example sentences
    • The news will be fed to local BBC and commercial radio stations to keep motorists up to speed with the latest traffic flows.
    • A helicopter follows the peloton, feeding overhead shots to broadcast producers in satellite vans parked at the end of the stage.
    • If local stations could preempt what was being fed from New York and Los Angeles, then programming could be more reflective of family values.
  • 3Cause to move gradually and steadily, typically through a confined space: make holes through which to feed the cables
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • I attached the stand, feeding the VGA cable through the appropriate slot, then looked for the power socket.
    • The public are seeing some very skilful engineering to directly drill under the beck and feed the cables through.

noun

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  • 1An act of giving food, especially to animals or a baby, or of having food given to one: I’ve just given the horse her feed
    More example sentences
    • She helped me position the babies for their first feeds.
    • When women choose to breastfeed they shouldn't have to stay at home all day because their baby will need a feed.
    • 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.
  • 1.1 informal A meal: how 'bout I fix up a nice hot feed?
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • It stated light buffet on the tickets, if that was a light buffet what on earth is a big feed in the Feehan household.
    • 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.
  • 1.2Food for domestic animals: the crops are grown for animal feed cow feed
    More example sentences
    • 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 low-quality dates and the date pits are used as animal feed for cows and sheep.
    • BSE is not a contagious disease but occurs when cows eat feed that contains infected animal products.
    Synonyms
    fodder, food, forage, pasturage, herbage, provender
    formal comestibles
  • 2A device or conduit for supplying material to a machine: the plotter has a continuous paper feed
    More example sentences
    • These parameters are used by the system controller to determine the rotational speed and the vertical feed of the machine spindle.
    • Additional standpipe feeds for the water sprinkler system were installed.
    • The largest is the drawer machine which has 4 feeds and knits from four bobbins.
  • 2.1The supply of raw material to a machine or device: [as modifier]: a feed pipe
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • The printer takes only 250 sheets of letter paper at a time, with legal paper usable only via its manual feed front paper slot.
  • 2.2A broadcast distributed by satellite or network from a central source to a large number of radio or television stations: a satellite feed from Washington
    More example sentences
    • The live feed was also broadcast globally by the Sirius satellite radio network.
    • Other channels are audio feeds of television stations.
    • The hourly news bulletins on weekdays are feeds from Independent Radio News.
  • 2.3 Computing 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
    More example sentences
    • All I'm doing is changing my Twitter feed.
    • You can even set a refresh rate based on the individual feed.
    • I thus can repeat the above commands with the syndication feed from my Weblog.
  • 3A line or prompt given to an actor on stage.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 3.1An actor who provides a feed to a fellow performer.
    More example sentences
    • I don't count - I'm only a feed.

Phrases

off one's feed

informal Having no appetite.
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.

Phrasal verbs

feed back

  • 1(Of a response) influence the development of the thing that has given rise to it: what the audience tells me feeds back into my work
    More example sentences
    • Consumers also play a role in the innovation process of creative industries by their willingness to pay for a new style, which feeds back to influence production and distribution structures.
    • Based on this feed back and a low response rate, this item was revised for the third mailing.
    • Equally important is how the results of those ‘failures’ are fed back into further theory development.
  • 2(Of an electrical or other system) produce feedback.
    More example sentences
    • 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.

Origin

Old English fēdan (verb); related to food.

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