Dictionary: FED'ER-AL – FEED-ER

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FED'ER-AL, a. [from L. fœdus, a league, allied perhaps to Eng. wed, Sax. weddian, L. vas, vadis, vador, vadimonium. See Heb. Ch. Syr. עבט, to pledge, Class Bd, No. 25.]

  1. Pertaining to a league or contract; derived from an agreement or covenant between parties, particularly between nations. The Romans, contrary to federal right, compelled them to part with Sardinia. – Grew.
  2. Consisting in a compact between parties, particularly and chiefly between states or nations; founded on alliance by contract or mutual agreement; as, a federal government, such as that of the United States.
  3. Friendly to the constitution of the United States. [See the Noun.]


An appellation in America, given to the friends of the constitution of the United States, at its formation and adoption, and to the political party which favored the administration of President Washington.


The principles of the federalists. – Morris.


or i. To unite in compact, as different states; to confederate for political purposes. – Barlow.


United in compact.



FED'ER-A-RY, or FED'A-RY, n.

A partner; a confederate; an accomplice. [Not used.] – Shak.

FED'ER-ATE, a. [L. fœderatus.]

Leagued; united by compact, as sovereignties, states or nations; joined in confederacy; as, federate nations or powers.


The act of uniting in a league. A league; a confederacy. – Burke.


Uniting; joining in a league; forming a confederacy.

FE'DI-TY, n. [L. fœditas.]

Turpitude; vileness. [Not in use.] – Hall.

FEE, n.1 [Sax. feo, feoh; D. vee; G. vieh; Sw. ; Dan. fæe; Scot. fee, fey, or fie, cattle; L. pecu, pecus. From the use of cattle in transferring property, or from barter and payments in cattle, the word came to signify money; it signified also goods, substance in general. The word belongs to Class Bg, but the primary sense is not obvious.]

A reward or compensation for services; recompense, either gratuitous, or established by law and claimed of right. It is applied particularly to the reward of professional services; as, the fees of lawyers and physicians; the fees of office; clerk's fees; sheriff's fees; marriage fees, &c. Many of these are fixed by law; but gratuities to professional men are also called fees.

FEE, n.2 [This word is usually deduced from Sax. feoh, cattle, property, and fee, a reward. This is a mistake. Fee, in land, is a contraction of feud or fief, or from the same source; It. fede, Sp. fe, faith, trust. Fee, a reward, from feoh, is a Teutonic word; but fee, feud, fief, are words wholly unknown to the Teutonic nations, who use, as synonymous with them, the word, which, in English, is loan. This word, fee, in land or an estate in trust, originated among the descendents of the northern conquerors of Italy, but it originated in the south of Europe. See Feud.]

Primarily, a loan of land, an estate in trust, granted by a prince or lord, to be held by the grantee on condition of personal service, or other condition; and if the grantee or tenant failed to perform the conditions, the land reverted to the lord or donor, called the landlord, or lend-lord, the lord of the loan. A fee then is any land or tenement held of a superior on certain conditions. It is synonymous with fief and feud. All the land in England, except the Crown land, is of this kind. Fees are absolute or limited. An absolute fee or fee-simple is land which a man holds to himself and his heirs forever, who are called tenants in fee-simple. Hence in modern times, the term fee or fee-simple denotes an estate of inheritance; and in America, where lands are not generally held of a superior, a fee or fee-simple is an estate in which the owner has the whole property without any condition annexed to the tenure. A limited fee is an estate limited or clogged with certain conditions; as, a qualified or base fee, which ceases with the existence of certain conditions; and a conditional fee, which is limited to particular heirs. Blackstone. Encyc. In the United States, an estate in fee or fee-simple is what is called in English law an allodial estate, an estate held by a person in his own right, and descendible to the heirs in general.

FEE, v.t.

  1. To pay a fee to; to reward. Hence,
  2. To engage in one's service by advancing a fee or sum of money to; as, to fee a lawyer.
  3. To hire; to bribe. Shak.
  4. To keep in hire. Shak.

FEE'BLE, a. [Fr. foible; Sp. feble; Norm. id.; It. fievole. I know not the origin of the first syllable.]

  1. Weak; destitute of much physical strength; as, infants are feeble at their birth.
  2. Infirm; sickly; debilitated by disease.
  3. Debilitated by age or decline of life.
  4. Not full or loud; as, a feeble voice or sound.
  5. Wanting force or vigor; as, feeble efforts.
  6. Not bright or strong; faint, imperfect; as, feeble light; feeble colors.
  7. Not strong or vigorous; as, feeble powers of mind.
  8. Not vehement or rapid; slow; as, feeble motion.

FEE'BLE, v.t.

To weaken. [Not used. See Enfeeble.]


Weak in mind; wanting firmness or constancy; irresolute. Comfort the feeble-minded. 1 Thess. v.


State of having a feeble mind.


  1. Weakness of body or mind, from any cause; imbecility; infirmity; want of strength, physical or intellectual; as, feebleness of the body or limbs; feebleness of the mind or understanding.
  2. Want of fullness or loudness; as, feebleness of voice.
  3. Want of vigor or force; as, feebleness of exertion, or of operation.
  4. Defect of brightness; as, feebleness of light or color.

FEE'BLY, adv.

Weakly; without strength; as, to move feebly. Thy gentle numbers feebly creep. Dryden.

FEED, a. [or pp.]

Retained by a fee.

FEED, n.

  1. Food; that which is eaten; pasture; fodder; applied to that which it eaten by beasts, not to the food of men. The hills of our country furnish the best feed for sheep.
  2. Meal, or act of eating. For such pleasure till that hour / At feed or fountain never bad I found. Milton.

FEED, v.i.

  1. To take food; to eat. Shak.
  2. To subsist by eating; to prey. Some birds feed on seeds and berries, others on flesh.
  3. To pasture; to graze; to place cattle to feed. Ex. xxii.
  4. To grow fat. Johnson.

FEED, v.t. [pret. and pp. fed. Sax. fedan; Dan. föder, Sw. foda, to feed and to beget; Goth. fodyan; D. voeden, to feed; G. futter, fodder; füttern, to feed; Norm. foder, to feed and to dig, uniting with feed the L. fodio; Ar. فَطَأَ fata, to feed, and congressus fuit cum fœmina, sæpius concubuit. Class Bd, No. I4. See Father. In Russ. petayu is to nourish; and in W. buyd is food, and bwyta, to eat; Arm. boeta; Ir. fiadh, food, G. weid, pasture.]

  1. To give food to; as, to feed an infant; to feed horses and oxen.
  2. To supply with provisions. We have flour and meat enough to feed the army a month.
  3. To supply; to furnish with any thing of which there is constant consumption, waste or use. Springs feed ponds, lakes and rivers; ponds and streams feed canals. Mills are fed from hoppers.
  4. To graze; to cause to be cropped by feeding, as herbage by cattle. If grain is too forward in autumn, feed it with sheep. Once in three years feed your mowing lands. Mortimer.
  5. To nourish; to cherish; to supply with nutriment; as, to a feed hope or expectation; to feed vanity.
  6. To keep in hope or expectation; as, to feed one with hope.
  7. To supply fuel; as, to feed a fire.
  8. To delight; to supply with something desirable; to entertain; as, to feed the eye with the beauties of a landscape.
  9. To give food or fodder for fattening; to fatten. The old county of Hampshire, in Massachusetts, feeds a great number of cattle for slaughter.
  10. To supply with food, and to lead, guard and protect; a scriptural sense. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd. Is. xl.


  1. One that gives food, or supplies nourishment.
  2. One who furnishes incentives; an encourager. The feeder of my riots. Shak.
  3. One that eats or subsists; as, small birds are feeders on grain or seeds.
  4. One that fattens cattle for slaughter. United States.
  5. A fountain, stream or channel that supplies a main canal with water. Feeder of a vein, in mining, a short cross vein. Cyc.