a covering of feathers; plumage.
the arrangement of feathers on an arrow.
Music. a very light and delicate use of the violin bow.

1520–30; feather + -ing1

underfeathering, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
feathering (ˈfɛðərɪŋ)
1.  the plumage of a bird; feathers
2.  another word for feathers
3.  printing
 a.  an imperfection in print caused by the spreading of ink
 b.  the use of additional space between lines in typesetting in order to fill the page

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. feðer "feather," in pl., "wings," from Gmc. *fethro (cf. O.N. fjöðr, M.Du. vedere, Ger. Feder), from PIE *petra-, zero degree *ptera- "wing, feather," from base *pet- "to rush, to fly" (see petition). Feather-headed "silly" is from 1640s. Feather-weight,
the lightest allowable, is first recorded 1812, originally in horse-racing; boxing use dates from 1889.

to furnish with wings, O.E. fiðerian; see feather (n.). Meaning to fit (an arrow) with feathers is from early 13c.; that of to deck, adorn, or provide with plumage is from late 15c. In reference to oars (later paddles, propellers, etc.) from 1740. Phrase feather ones
nest enrich oneself is from 1580s. Related: Feathered; feathering.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
feather   (fě'ər)  Pronunciation Key 

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One of the light, flat structures that cover the skin of birds. A feather is made of a horny substance and has a narrow, hollow shaft bearing flat vanes formed of many parallel barbs. The barbs of outer feathers are formed of even smaller structures (called barbules) that interlock. The barbs of down feathers do not interlock. Evolutionarily, feathers are modified scales, first seen in certain dinosaurs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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