Found 1 items, similar to To show the white feather.
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Definition: To show the white feather
(f[e^][th]"[~e]r), n. [OE. fether, AS.
fe[eth]er; akin to D. veder, OHG. fedara, G. feder, Icel.
fj["o][eth]r, Sw. fj["a]der, Dan. fj[ae]der, Gr. ptero`n
wing, feather, pe`tesqai to fly, Skr. pattra wing, feather,
pat to fly, and prob. to L. penna feather, wing. [root]76,
248. Cf. Pen
1. One of the peculiar dermal appendages, of several kinds,
belonging to birds, as contour feathers, quills, and down.
Note: An ordinary feather consists of the quill or hollow
basal part of the stem; the shaft or rachis, forming
the upper, solid part of the stem; the vanes or webs,
implanted on the rachis and consisting of a series of
slender lamin[ae] or barbs, which usually bear
barbules, which in turn usually bear barbicels and
interlocking hooks by which they are fastened together.
2. Kind; nature; species; -- from the proverbial phrase,
“Birds of a feather,”
that is, of the same species. [R.]
I am not of that feather to shake off
My friend when he must need me. --Shak.
3. The fringe of long hair on the legs of the setter and some
4. A tuft of peculiar, long, frizzly hair on a horse.
5. One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow.
6. (Mach. & Carp.) A longitudinal strip projecting as a fin
from an object, to strengthen it, or to enter a channel in
another object and thereby prevent displacement sidwise
but permit motion lengthwise; a spline.
7. A thin wedge driven between the two semicylindrical parts
of a divided plug in a hole bored in a stone, to rend the
8. The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float,
with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or
enters the water.
Note: Feather is used adjectively or in combination, meaning
composed of, or resembling, a feather or feathers; as,
feather fan, feather-heeled, feather duster.
(Min.), a hydrous sulphate of alumina,
resulting from volcanic action, and from the decomposition
of iron pyrites; -- called also halotrichite
, a bed filled with feathers.
, one who prepares feathers by beating.
, a dusting brush of feathers.
, an artifical flower made of feathers, for
ladies' headdresses, and other ornamental purposes.
(Bot.), a kind of grass (Stipa pennata
which has a long feathery awn rising from one of the
chaffy scales which inclose the grain.
, one who makes plumes, etc., of feathers,
real or artificial.
(Min.), a sulphide of antimony and lead,
sometimes found in capillary forms and like a cobweb, but
also massive. It is a variety of Jamesonite.
, or Feathered shot
granulated by pouring into cold water. --Raymond.
(Naut.), the spray thrown up, like pairs of
feathers, by the cutwater of a fast-moving vessel.
. (Zo["o]l.) See Comatula
(a) Scrupulously exact weight, so that a feather would
turn the scale, when a jockey is weighed or weighted.
(b) The lightest weight that can be put on the back of a
horse in racing. --Youatt.
(c) In wrestling, boxing, etc., a term applied to the
lightest of the classes into which contestants are
divided; -- in contradistinction to light weight
, and heavy weight
A feather in the cap
an honour, trophy, or mark of
To be in full feather
, to be in full dress or in one's best
To be in high feather
, to be in high spirits. [Collog.]
To cut a feather
(a) (Naut.) To make the water foam in moving; in allusion
to the ripple which a ship throws off from her bows.
(b) To make one's self conspicuous. [Colloq.]
To show the white feather
, to betray cowardice, -- a white
feather in the tail of a cock being considered an
indication that he is not of the true game breed.