November 02, 2013
feat (noun)
\FEET\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : act, deed2 a : a deed notable especially for courage b : an act or product of skill, strength, or cleverness
How do you use it?
"I sat down in the middle of the garden . . . All about me giant grasshoppers, twice as big as any I had ever seen, were doing acrobatic feats among the dried vines." (Willa Cather, _My Ántonia_)
Are you a word wiz?

The narrator in the quote above is observing grasshoppers performing "acrobatic feats." Which of the following do you think is an example of a feat one of the giant grasshoppers might have been doing?

If you were the size of a grasshopper, you'd probably see what a feat it really is for a grasshopper to jump as high as it does; its jumps certainly qualify as acts or products of skill or strength, and so fall under sense 2b of "feat." "Feat" is just one word we have to refer to a remarkable deed; "exploit" and "achievement" are two more. While "feat" usually implies strength, dexterity, or daring, "exploit" suggests an adventurous or heroic act, and "achievement" implies hard-won success in the face of difficulty or opposition.
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