[feth -er-bed-ing] /ˈfɛð ərˌbɛd ɪŋ/
the practice of requiring an employer to hire unnecessary employees, to assign unnecessary work, or to limit production according to a union rule or safety statute:
"Featherbedding forced the railroads to employ firemen on diesel locomotives."
1920–25; feather + bedding


[feth -er-bed] /ˈfɛð ərˌbɛd/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), featherbedded, featherbedding.
to subject to or engage in featherbedding.
1945–50; back formation from featherbedding
Example Sentences for featherbedding
When every joke about your business mentions featherbedding, you should be worried about outsourcing.
In short: less featherbedding of their party's paymasters be they trade unions or big business.
He has been withering in his criticism of the featherbedding that has bankrupted the state.
We're probably also number one in featherbedding officials.
It reminds me of featherbedding, the discredited labor practice of using more workers than are necessary.
British Dictionary definitions for featherbedding
featherbedding (ˈfɛðəˌbɛdɪŋ)
the practice of limiting production, duplicating work, or overmanning, esp in accordance with a union contract, in order to prevent redundancies or create jobs

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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featherbedding in Culture

featherbedding definition

The practice of forcing an employer to hire more workers than are needed for a job.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang related to featherbedding


  1. To work languidly and sluggishly; seek easy tasks
  2. To create or retain unnecessary jobs; do essentially fictitious jobs : featherbedding clauses in labor agreements (1920s+)

Dictionary of American Slang
Copyright © 1986 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Difficulty index for featherbedding

Few English speakers likely know this word

Tile value for featherbedding

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