1. To give food to; to supply with nourishment; to satisfy the physical huger of. "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." (Rom. Xii. 20) "Unreasonable reatures feed their young." (Shak)
2. To satisfy; grafity or minister to, as any sense, talent, taste, or desire. "I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him." (Shak) "Feeding him with the hope of liberty." (Knolles)
3. To fill the wants of; to supply with that which is used or wasted; as, springs feed ponds; the hopper feeds the mill; to feed a furnace with coal.
4. To nourish, in a general sense; to foster, strengthen, develop, and guard. "Thou shalt feed people Israel." (2 Sam. V. 2) "Mightiest powers by deepest calms are feed." (B. Cornwall)
5. To graze; to cause to be cropped by feeding, as herbage by cattle; as, if grain is too forward in autumn, feed it with sheep. "Once in three years feed your mowing lands." (Mortimer)
6. To give for food, especially to animals; to furnish for consumption; as, to feed out turnips to the cows; to feed water to a steam boiler.
7. <machinery> To supply (the material to be operated upon) to a machine; as, to feed paper to a printing press. To produce progressive operation upon or with (as in wood and metal working machines, so that the work moves to the cutting tool, or the tool to the work).
Origin: AS. FDAn, fr. FDA food; akin to C?. Fdian, OFries FDA, FDA, D. Voeden, OHG. Fuottan, Icel. Faea, Sw. Foda, Dan. Fode. 75. See Food.
1. That which is eaten; especially, food for beasts; fodder; pasture; hay; grain, ground or whole; as, the best feed for sheep.
2. A grazing or pasture ground.
3. An allowance of provender given to a horse, cow, etc.; a meal; as, a feed of corn or oats.
4. A meal, or the act of eating. "For such pleasure till that hour at feed or fountain never had I found." (Milton)
5. The water supplied to steam boilers.
6. <machinery> The motion, or act, of carrying forward the stuff to be operated upon, as cloth to the needle in a sewing machine; or of producing progressive operation upon any material or object in a machine, as, in a turning lathe, by moving the cutting tool along or in the work. The supply of material to a machine, as water to a steam boiler, coal to a furnace, or grain to a run of stones.
The mechanism by which the action of feeding is produced; a feed motion. Feed bag, a nose bag containing feed for a horse or mule. Feed cloth, an apron for leading cotton, wool, or other fibre, into a machine, as for carding, etc. Feed door, a door to a furnace, by which to supply coal. Feed head. A cistern for feeding water by gravity to a steam boiler.
A kind of feeder. See Feeder.
(01 Mar 1998)