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Old English fedan "nourish, feed, sustain, foster," from Proto-Germanic *fodjan (cf. Old Saxon fodjan, Old Frisian feda, Dutch voeden, Old High German fuotan, Old Norse foeða, Gothic fodjan "to feed"), from PIE *pa- "to protect, feed" (see food). Feeding frenzy is from 1989, metaphoric extension of a phrase that had been used of sharks since 1950s.
"action of feeding," 1570s, from feed (v.). Meaning "food for animals" is first attested 1580s. Of machinery, from 1892.