verb (used with object), fed, feeding.
to give food to; supply with nourishment: to feed a child.
to yield or serve as food for: This land has fed 10 generations.
to provide as food.
to furnish for consumption.
to satisfy; minister to; gratify: Poetry feeds the imagination.
to supply for maintenance or operation, as to a machine: to feed paper into a photocopier.
to provide with the necessary materials for development, maintenance, or operation: to feed a printing press with paper.
to use (land) as pasture.
Theater Informal.
to supply (an actor, especially a comedian) with lines or action, the responses to which are expected to elicit laughter.
to provide cues to (an actor).
Chiefly British. to prompt: Stand in the wings and feed them their lines.
Radio and Television. to distribute (a local broadcast) via satellite or network.
verb (used without object), fed, feeding.
(especially of animals) to take food; eat: cows feeding in a meadow; to feed well.
to be nourished or gratified; subsist: to feed on grass; to feed on thoughts of revenge.
food, especially for farm animals, as cattle, horses or chickens.
an allowance, portion, or supply of such food.
Informal. a meal, especially a lavish one.
the act of feeding.
the act or process of feeding a furnace, machine, etc.
the material, or the amount of it, so fed or supplied.
a feeding mechanism.
Electricity, feeder ( def 10 ).
Theater Informal.
a line spoken by one actor, the response to which by another actor is expected to cause laughter.
an actor, especially a straight man, who provides such lines.
a local television broadcast distributed by satellite or network to a much wider audience, especially nationwide or international.
Digital Technology. an XML-based web document that is updated automatically at predetermined intervals and includes descriptive titles or short descriptions and links to recent pages on a website: Subscribe to news feeds to get the latest news from around the world.
chain feed, to pass (work) successively into a machine in such a manner that each new piece is held in place by or connected to the one before.
off one's feed, Slang.
reluctant to eat; without appetite.
dejected; sad.
not well; ill.

before 950; Middle English feden, Old English fēdan; cognate with Gothic fodjan, Old Saxon fōdian. See food

feedable, adjective
outfeed, verb (used with object), outfed, outfeeding.
refeed, verb, refed, refeeding.
unfeedable, adjective

1, 2. nourish, sustain. 5. nurture, support, encourage, bolster. 13. Feed, fodder, forage, provender mean food for animals. Feed is the general word: pig feed; chicken feed. Fodder is especially applied to dry or green feed, as opposed to pasturage, fed to horses, cattle, etc.: fodder for winter feeding; Cornstalks are good fodder. Forage is food that an animal obtains (usually grass, leaves, etc.) by searching about for it: Lost cattle can usually live on forage. Provender denotes dry feed, such as hay, oats, or corn: a supply of provender in the haymow and corn cribs.

1, 2. starve.
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a charge or payment for professional services: a doctor's fee.
a sum paid or charged for a privilege: an admission fee.
a charge allowed by law for the service of a public officer.
an estate of inheritance in land, either absolute and without limitation to any particular class of heirs (fee simple) or limited to a particular class of heirs (fee tail)
an inheritable estate in land held of a feudal lord on condition of the performing of certain services.
a territory held in fee.
a gratuity; tip.
verb (used with object), feed, feeing.
to give a fee to.
Chiefly Scot. to hire; employ.

1250–1300; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French fie, variant of fief fief. See feudal

feeless, adjective
overfee, noun
superfee, noun

1. stipend, salary, emolument; honorarium.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fee (fiː)
1.  a payment asked by professional people or public servants for their services: a doctor's fee; school fees
2.  a charge made for a privilege: an entrance fee
3.  property law
 a.  fee simple See fee tail an interest in land capable of being inherited
 b.  the land held in fee
4.  (in feudal Europe) the land granted by a lord to his vassal
5.  an obsolete word for a gratuity
6.  in fee
 a.  law (of land) in absolute ownership
 b.  archaic in complete subjection
vb , fees, feeing, feed
7.  rare to give a fee to
8.  chiefly (Scot) to hire for a fee
[C14: from Old French fie, of Germanic origin; see fief]

feed (fiːd)
vb , feeds, feeding, fed
1.  to give food to: to feed the cat
2.  to give as food: to feed meat to the cat
3.  (intr) to eat food: the horses feed at noon
4.  to provide food for: these supplies can feed 10 million people
5.  to provide what is necessary for the existence or development of: to feed one's imagination
6.  to gratify; satisfy: to feed one's eyes on a beautiful sight
7.  (also intr) to supply (a machine, furnace, etc) with (the necessary materials or fuel) for its operation, or (of such materials) to flow or move forwards into a machine, etc
8.  to use (land) as grazing
9.  informal theatre to cue (an actor, esp a comedian) with lines or actions
10.  sport to pass a ball to (a team-mate)
11.  electronics to introduce (electrical energy) into a circuit, esp by means of a feeder
12.  (also intr; foll by on or upon) to eat or cause to eat
13.  the act or an instance of feeding
14.  food, esp that of animals or babies
15.  the process of supplying a machine or furnace with a material or fuel
16.  the quantity of material or fuel so supplied
17.  the rate of advance of a cutting tool in a lathe, drill, etc
18.  a mechanism that supplies material or fuel or controls the rate of advance of a cutting tool
19.  informal theatre a performer, esp a straight man, who provides cues
20.  informal a meal
[Old English fēdan; related to Old Norse fœtha to feed, Old High German fuotan, Gothic fōthjan; see food, fodder]

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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Word Origin & History

late 13c., from O.Fr. fieu, from M.L. feodum "land or other property whose use is granted in return for service," probably from Frank. *fehu-od "payment-estate," in which the first element is cognate with O.E. feoh "money, property, cattle" (also Ger. Vieh "cattle," Goth. faihu "money, fortune"), from
PIE *peku- "cattle" (cf. Skt. pasu, Lith. pekus "cattle;" L. pecu "cattle," pecunia "money, property"); second element similar to O.E. ead "wealth." Sense of "payment for services" first recorded late 14c. Fee-simple is "absolute ownership," as opposed to fee-tail "entailed ownership," inheritance limited to some particular class of heirs (from O.Fr. taillir "to cut, to limit").

O.E. fedan "nourish, feed," from P.Gmc. *fothjanan (cf. O.S. fodjan, O.Fris. feda, Goth. fodjan "to feed"). The noun sense of "food for animals" is first attested 1588. Fed up "surfeited, disgusted, bored," is British slang first recorded 1900, extended to U.S. by World War I; probably from earlier phrases
like fed up to the back teeth. Feeding frenzy is from 1989, metaphoric extension of a phrase that had been used of sharks since 1950s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

feed definition

1. data feed.
2. Rich Site Summary.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with feed, also see bite the hand that feeds you; chicken feed; off one's feed; put on the feed bag.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Feed right after bloom with complete fertilizer but not acid plant food.
The wort acts as a food source for the yeast to feed upon and multiply.
Genetically modified crops will neither feed the world nor wreck the planet.
The feed given to organically raised livestock must also meet certification
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