feather weight


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Weight \Weight\, n. [OE. weght, wight, AS. gewiht; akin to D.
   gewigt, G. gewicht, Icel. v[ae]tt, Sw. vigt, Dan. v[ae]gt.
   See Weigh, v. t.]
   [1913 Webster]
   1. The quality of being heavy; that property of bodies by
      which they tend toward the center of the earth; the effect
      of gravitative force, especially when expressed in certain
      units or standards, as pounds, grams, etc.
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   Note: Weight differs from gravity in being the effect of
         gravity, or the downward pressure of a body under the
         influence of gravity; hence, it constitutes a measure
         of the force of gravity, and being the resultant of all
         the forces exerted by gravity upon the different
         particles of the body, it is proportional to the
         quantity of matter in the body.
         [1913 Webster]

   2. The quantity of heaviness; comparative tendency to the
      center of the earth; the quantity of matter as estimated
      by the balance, or expressed numerically with reference to
      some standard unit; as, a mass of stone having the weight
      of five hundred pounds.
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            For sorrow, like a heavy-hanging bell,
            Once set on ringing, with his own weight goes.
                                                  --Shak.
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   3. Hence, pressure; burden; as, the weight of care or
      business. "The weight of this said time." --Shak.
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            For the public all this weight he bears. --Milton.
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            [He] who singly bore the world's sad weight.
                                                  --Keble.
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   4. Importance; power; influence; efficacy; consequence;
      moment; impressiveness; as, a consideration of vast
      weight.
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            In such a point of weight, so near mine honor.
                                                  --Shak.
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   5. A scale, or graduated standard, of heaviness; a mode of
      estimating weight; as, avoirdupois weight; troy weight;
      apothecaries' weight.
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   6. A ponderous mass; something heavy; as, a clock weight; a
      paper weight.
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            A man leapeth better with weights in his hands.
                                                  --Bacon.
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   7. A definite mass of iron, lead, brass, or other metal, to
      be used for ascertaining the weight of other bodies; as,
      an ounce weight.
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   8. (Mech.) The resistance against which a machine acts, as
      opposed to the power which moves it. [Obs.]
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   Atomic weight. (Chem.) See under Atomic, and cf.
      Element.

   Dead weight, Feather weight, Heavy weight, {Light
   weight}, etc. See under Dead, Feather, etc.

   Weight of observation (Astron. & Physics), a number
      expressing the most probable relative value of each
      observation in determining the result of a series of
      observations of the same kind.
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   Syn: Ponderousness; gravity; heaviness; pressure; burden;
        load; importance; power; influence; efficacy;
        consequence; moment; impressiveness.
        [1913 Webster]
.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Feather \Feath"er\ (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[aum]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 a feather.]
   1. One of the peculiar dermal appendages, of several kinds,
      belonging to birds, as contour feathers, quills, and down.
      [1913 Webster]

   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.
         See Down, Quill, Plumage.

   2. Kind; nature; species; -- from the proverbial phrase,
      "Birds of a feather," that is, of the same species. [R.]
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            I am not of that feather to shake off
            My friend when he must need me.       --Shak.
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   3. The fringe of long hair on the legs of the setter and some
      other dogs.
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   4. A tuft of peculiar, long, frizzly hair on a horse.
      [1913 Webster]

   5. One of the fins or wings on the shaft of an arrow.
      [1913 Webster]

   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.
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   7. A thin wedge driven between the two semicylindrical parts
      of a divided plug in a hole bored in a stone, to rend the
      stone. --Knight.
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   8. The angular adjustment of an oar or paddle-wheel float,
      with reference to a horizontal axis, as it leaves or
      enters the water.
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   Note: Feather is used adjectively or in combination, meaning
         composed of, or resembling, a feather or feathers; as,
         feather fan, feather-heeled, feather duster.
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   Feather alum (Min.), a hydrous sulphate of alumina,
      resulting from volcanic action, and from the decomposition
      of iron pyrites; -- called also halotrichite. --Ure.

   Feather bed, a bed filled with feathers.

   Feather driver, one who prepares feathers by beating.

   Feather duster, a dusting brush of feathers.

   Feather flower, an artifical flower made of feathers, for
      ladies' headdresses, and other ornamental purposes.

   Feather grass (Bot.), a kind of grass (Stipa pennata)
      which has a long feathery awn rising from one of the
      chaffy scales which inclose the grain.

   Feather maker, one who makes plumes, etc., of feathers,
      real or artificial.

   Feather ore (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.

   Feather shot, or Feathered shot (Metal.), copper
      granulated by pouring into cold water. --Raymond.

   Feather spray (Naut.), the spray thrown up, like pairs of
      feathers, by the cutwater of a fast-moving vessel.

   Feather star. (Zool.) See Comatula.

   Feather weight. (Racing)
      (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,
          middle weight, and heavy weight.

   A feather in the cap an honour, trophy, or mark of
      distinction. [Colloq.]

   To be in full feather, to be in full dress or in one's best
      clothes. [Collog.]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]
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