feeding, n.

1. The action of feed v., in its various senses.

c897    K. Ælfred tr. Gregory Pastoral Care v. 42   Sio feding ðara sceapa.

c1320    tr. J. Bonaventura Medit. 39   Þe fyrst ys a bodly fedyng.

14..    Epiph. in Tundale’s Vis. 120   Thys day is named Phagyphanye‥For thys word phagy‥Is seyd of fedyng.

c1475    Babees Bk. (Harl. 5086) (2002) i. 7   In youre fedynge luke goodly yee be sene.

1526    W. Bonde Pylgrimage of Perfection iii. sig. BBBii,   Pamperyng‥our bodyes by‥moche fedyng of delicate meates & drynkes.

1676    J. Ray Corr. (1848) 122   Skill in the feeding‥of singing-birds.

1725    H. Sloane Voy. Islands II. 285   According to its feeding on venemous or not venemous food, ‘tis wholesome or poysonous.

1803    Davy in Phil. Trans. XCIII. 272   The feeding of leather in the slow method of tanning.

1836    Dickens Pickwick Papers (1837) viii. 75   There was not a gleam of‥anything but feeding in his whole visage.

1879    ‘G. Eliot’ Theophrastus Such i. 15   A feeding-up into monstrosity.

1897    Encycl. Sport I. 404/2   Many aver that‥Alan Rotherham was the first to reduce the art of feeding to a science.

1929    J. B. Priestley Good Companions ii. i. 253   This feeding I’m talking about‥is a name in the profession for working up to gags.


 a. concr. That which is eaten; food. Now rare.

1398    J. de Trevisa tr. Bartholomew de Glanville De Proprietat. Rerum (1495) xviii. i. 736   Some beestys gadre store of mete and fedynge.

c1440    Promp. Parv. 152/2   Fedynge, or fode, pastum.

1532–3    Act 24 Hen. VIII c. 3   Beoffe, mutton, porke, and veale‥is the common feedyng of‥poore persons.

1581    R. Mulcaster Positions xxxvii. 147   Will ye let the fry encrease, where the feeding failes?

1653    I. Walton Compl. Angler 148   His [the Pike’s] feeding is usually fish or frogs.

1866    Handy Horse Bk. 20   So should the horses feeding be augmented by one-third‥more than usual.

†b. to take feeding (of): to feed (upon). In quot. c1500 fig.

c1500    Melusine (1895) 298   Her of whom myn eyen toke theire fedyng. 

†c. Nourishment, sustenance. Obs.

1547    A. Borde Breuiary of Helthe i. Proheme f. iiii,   Consyder yf‥the sicnes in the exteriall partes haue any fedyng from the interyall partes.

 3. Grazing-ground or pasture land; pasturage, feeding-ground. Obs. exc. dial.

c1430    Pilgr. Lyf Manhode (1869) ii. cix. 116   He‥ouer~throweth here feedinges [pasturaux].

1467    in S. Tymms Wills & Inventories Bury St. Edmunds (1850) 47   Alle the landys, medewes, pasturys, and fedyngys callyd Southwode.

1554–5    Act 2 & 3 Phil. & Mary c. 3   Lands or feedings, apt for milch kine.

1627    J. Speed Eng. Abridged iii. §4   Kent‥in some things hath the best esteeme: as in‥feedings for Cattell.

1669    J. Worlidge Systema Agric. (1681) 31   The Spring and Autumn feeding, whereon six or eight Cattle usually grazed.

1768    J. Boswell Acct. Corsica (ed. 2) i. 40   Sheep‥have fine feeding.

a1855    W. T. Spurdens Forby’s Vocab. E. Anglia (1858) III. 16   You turned your horse into my feeding.