1. The hiring of more workers than necessary or the limiting of worker productivity in order to allow employment of more persons, usually as a result of a union contract with an employer.
2. The paying for services that are not actually performed, as in a union-imposed fee upon an employer.
feather·bed′ v. & adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.