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Meaning species or kind. From the proverb, “Birds of a feather” —i.e. of the same plumage, and therefore of the same sort.
I am not of that feather to shake off My friend, when he must need me.
A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod; An honest man's the noblest work of God.
Pope: Essay on Man. 247-8.
Also annoyed by trifles, worried by little annoyances.
From day to day some silly things Upset you altogether; There's nought so soon convulsion brings As tickling with a feather. `Gainst minor evils let him pray Who Fortune's favour curries, For one that big misfortunes slay, Ten die of little worries.
“Jack could never cut a feather.” —Sir W. Scott: The Pirate, xxxiv.
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