1. One that supplies food: a bird feeder on a window ledge.
a. One that eats in a specified manner. Used of an animal: a filter feeder; a bottom feeder.
b. One that consumes nutrients to a specified degree. Used of a plant: heavy feeders such as rhubarb or tomatoes.
3. One that is fed, especially an animal that is being fattened for market.
4. A worker or device that feeds materials into a machine for further processing.
5. Something that contributes to the operation, maintenance, or supply of something else, especially:
a. A tributary stream.
b. A branch line of a transport system, as of an airline or a railroad.
6. Any of the medium-voltage lines used to distribute electric power from a substation to consumers or to smaller substations.
7. A transmission line between an antenna and a transmitter.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.