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feed - definition and synonyms

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verb     feed pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefeeding
past tensefed
past participlefed
  1. 1
    [transitive] to give food to a person or an animal

    We’ve been feeding the ducks on the river.

    feed someone/something on something:

    The dogs were fed on raw meat.

    feed something to someone/something:

    The leftover food is fed to the pigs.

    properly fed:

    All the children will be properly fed and cared for.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to provide people with food so that they can live

      The money he brings home isn’t enough to feed a family of five.

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] if a baby feeds, or if you feed it, the baby drinks milk

      Young babies need to feed every three to four hours.

      She sat down to feed the baby.

    3. c.
      [intransitive] if an animal feeds, it looks for food and eats it

      The birds return here to feed at dusk.

    4. d.
      [transitive] to put a substance onto a plant or into the soil to make a plant grow well

      The plants should be fed and watered regularly.

      feed something with something:

      Feed tomato plants with a general fertilizer once a week.

      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [transitive] to provide a supply of something for a person or a machine
    feed someone with something:

    He’s been feeding the police with information about terrorist activities.

    feed something into something:

    Information is fed into the computer and stored in a database.

    feed something to someone/something:

    the main arteries that feed blood to the brain

  3. 3
    [transitive] to push something into a machine, especially slowly and gently
    feed something into something:

    She saw him feeding documents into the shredder.

    feed something through (something):

    Feed the fabric gently through the machine.

    feed something with something:

    I fed the parking meter with my remaining change.

  4. 5
    [transitive] to provide what is necessary
    feed a habit:

    Many young drug users turn to crime to feed their habit.

    feed an addiction:

    Her son was using his lunch money to feed his gambling addiction.

phrasal verbs

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