Definition of feed verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fiːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fiːd//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they feed
    BrE BrE//fiːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fiːd//
    he / she / it feeds
    BrE BrE//fiːdz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fiːdz//
    past simple fed
    BrE BrE//fed//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fed//
    past participle fed
    BrE BrE//fed//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fed//
    -ing form feeding
    BrE BrE//ˈfiːdɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfiːdɪŋ//
    Babies, Animal farming, Pets
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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. Wordfinderbaby, birth, child, dummy, feed, incubator, nappy, pram, premature, teethe See related entries: Animal farming, Pets
  2. 2  [intransitive] (of a baby or an animal) to eat food Slugs and snails feed at night. see also feed on/off something See related entries: Babies
  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 somebody/something feed somebody something We are constantly fed gossip and speculation by the media. feed something to somebody Gossip and speculation are constantly fed to us by the media.
  8. supply
  9. 6[transitive] to supply something to somebody/something feed A (with B) The lake is fed by a river. 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. Word OriginOld English fēdan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch voeden and food.Extra examples Egrets and a solitary grey heron were busily feeding. Have they been feeding you well? He could no longer afford to feed his family. He saw the new baby as just another mouth to feed. How can we feed a hungry world? Let us discipline ourselves so as to help feed a hungry world. Most of the crop is fed to the cattle. Receptors constantly feed information into the system. She could barely feed and clothe herself. She fed the children on baked beans and fish fingers. She fed the children on junk food. The animals are fed with hay and grass. The bears feed voraciously in summer and store energy as fat. The children were poorly fed. The data is fed directly into a computer. The media were being fed with accusations and lies. The seals feed mainly on fish and squid. This feeds the paper through to the printer. Feed the kids and make sure they’re in bed by nine. My grandmother always feeds me well. The baby can’t feed herself yet. There’s enough here to feed an army. They’ve got a large family to feed.Idioms
    bite the hand that feeds you
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    to harm somebody who has helped you or supported you
    (informal, usually disapproving) to eat a lot of food or too much food
    Phrasal Verbsfeed backfeed (something)back (to somebody)feed into somethingfeed off somethingfeed throughfeed somebodyup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: feed