v. fed(fĕd), feed·ing, feeds
a. To give food to; supply with nourishment: feed the children.
b. To provide as food or nourishment: fed fish to the cat.
a. To serve as food for: The turkey is large enough to feed a dozen.
b. To produce food for: The valley feeds an entire county.
a. To provide for consumption, utilization, or operation: feed logs to a fire; feed data into a computer.
b. To supply with something essential for growth, maintenance, or operation: Melting snow feeds the reservoirs.
c. To transmit (media content) by means of a communications network or satellite, as for processing or distribution.
a. To minister to; gratify: fed their appetite for the morbid.
b. To support or promote; encourage: His unexplained absences fed our suspicions.
5. To supply as a cue: feed lines to an actor.
6. Sports To pass a ball or puck to (a teammate), especially to set up a scoring chance.
1. To eat. Used of animals: pigs feeding at a trough.
2. To be nourished or supported: an ego that feeds on flattery.
a. To move steadily, as into a machine for processing.
b. To be channeled; flow: This road feeds into the freeway.
a. Food for animals, especially livestock.
b. The amount of such food given at one time.
2. Informal A meal, especially a large one: We had a great feed at the restaurant.
3. The act of providing food, especially to an animal: food given at one feed.
a. Material or an amount of material supplied, as to a machine or furnace.
b. The act of supplying such material.
a. An apparatus that supplies material to a machine.
b. The aperture through which such material enters a machine.
a. The transmission or conveyance of published content, as by satellite, on the internet, or by broadcast over a network of stations.
b. A signal or program made by means of such transmission: The satellite feed was garbled due to sunspot activity.
7. Sports A pass of a ball or puck, especially to set up a scoring chance.
be off (one's) feed
To have lost one's appetite: The dog is off its feed this week.
[Middle English feden, from Old English fēdan; see pā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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.