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[feth -er-weyt] /ˈfɛð ərˌweɪt/
a boxer or other contestant intermediate in weight between a bantamweight and a lightweight, especially a professional boxer weighing up to 126 pounds (57 kg).
an insignificant person or thing:
He thinks he's a major composer, but he's just a featherweight.
belonging to the class of featherweights, especially in boxing.
extremely light in weight:
a featherweight quilt.
unimportant; trifling; slight.
Origin of featherweight
1805-15; feather + weight Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for featherweight
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He held out his arm, but grew tired long before they reached his trap: Dane was no featherweight, and he leaned upon him heavily.

    The League of the Leopard Harold Bindloss
  • With the featherweight the swing is very liable to get out of gear.

  • That was not a difficult feat since she was but a featherweight.

  • I am not as strong as I once was so I bought a featherweight one.

  • My stampede had carried his featherweight body a couple of yards, but it stopped me and I got my mind back, partly.

    The Big Time Fritz Reuter Leiber
  • Adams laughed, took the thing up with one hand, and raised it to his shoulder as though it had been a featherweight.

    The Pools of Silence H. de Vere Stacpoole
  • Some canoeists take with them a suit of featherweight oilskin.

    Packing and Portaging Dillon Wallace
  • "I had no idea Americans were so romantic," said Lady Sellingworth, with just a touch of featherweight malice.

    December Love Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for featherweight


  1. something very light or of little importance
  2. (as modifier): featherweight considerations
  1. a professional boxer weighing 118–126 pounds (53.5–57 kg)
  2. an amateur boxer weighing 54–57 kg (119–126 pounds)
  3. (as modifier): the featherweight challenger
a wrestler in a similar weight category (usually 126–139 pounds (57–63 kg))
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for featherweight

also feather-weight, the lightest allowable, 1812 (earlier as simply feather, 1760), from feather (n.) + weight. Originally in horse-racing; boxing use dates from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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