American English

Definition of feed verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they feed
    he / she / it feeds
    past simple fed
    -ing form feeding
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    give/eat food
  1. 1[transitive] to give food to a person or an animal feed somebody/something/yourself Have you fed the cat yet? The baby can't feed itself yet (= can't put food into its own mouth). feed somebody/something (on) something The cattle are fed (on) barley. feed something to somebody/something The barley is fed to the cattle.
  2. 2[intransitive] (of a baby or an animal) to eat food Slugs and snails feed at night. see also feed on/off something
  3. 3[transitive] feed somebody to provide food for a family or group of people They have a large family to feed. There's enough here to feed an army.
  4. plant
  5. 4[transitive] feed something to give a plant a special substance to make it grow Feed the plants once a week.
  6. give advice/information
  7. 5[transitive] to give advice, information, etc. to someone or something feed somebody (with) something The media constantly feeds us (with) gossip and speculation. feed something to somebody Gossip and speculation are constantly fed to us by the media.
  8. supply
  9. 6[transitive] to supply something to someone or something feed A (with B) This river feeds a lake several miles downstream. The electricity line is fed with power through an underground cable. feed B into A Power is fed into the electricity line through an underground cable.
  10. put into machine
  11. 7[transitive] to put or push something into or through a machine feed A (with B) He fed the meter with coins. feed B into A He fed coins into the meter. The information was fed into the data store. feed something into/through something The fabric is fed through the machine.
  12. satisfy need
  13. 8[transitive] feed something to satisfy a need, desire, etc. and keep it strong For drug addicts, the need to feed the addiction takes priority over everything else.
  14. Idioms
    bite the hand that feeds you
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    to harm someone who has helped you or supported you
    stuff/feed your face (informal) (usually disapproving)
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    to eat a lot of food or too much food
    Phrasal Verbsfeed back (into/to something)feed (something)back (to somebody)feed into somethingfeed on/off somethingfeed through (to somebody/something)
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: feed