in fine feather

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in fine feather

1. In remarkably attractive clothing. Look at that gown! She is certainly in fine feather tonight.
2. Doing well, perhaps because one is healthy, happy, or excelling in some area. He seemed sad the last time I saw him, so I'm glad he's in fine feather tonight.
See also: feather, fine
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

in fine feather

 
1. Fig. well dressed; of an excellent appearance. (Alludes to a bird that has clean, bright, and flawless feathers.) Well, you are certainly in fine feather today. I like to be in fine feather when I have to give a speech.
2. Fig. in good form; in good spirits. Mary was really in fine feather tonight. Her concert was great! I feel in fine feather and ready to go!
See also: feather, fine
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

in fine feather

Also, in good or high feather . In excellent form, health, or humor. For example, He was in fine feather, joking with all his visitors. These expressions all allude to a bird's healthy plumage, a usage dating from the late 1500s and no longer very common.
See also: feather, fine
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

in fine (or high) feather

in good spirits.
The image here is of a bird in its breeding plumage, when it is in peak condition.
See also: feather, fine
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

in fine feather

1. mod. well dressed; of an excellent appearance. (As a healthy bird might be.) Well, you are certainly in fine feather today.
2. mod. in good form; in good spirits. Mary is really in fine feather tonight.
See also: feather, fine
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
His fellow-travellers at first did not know him, but supposed it to be some vagrant Root Digger sneaking into the camp; but when they recognized in this forlorn object their prime wag, She-wee-she, whom they had seen depart in the morning in such high glee and high feather, they could not contain their merriment, but hailed him with loud and repeated peals of laughter.
I was in high feather. "Match abandoned, ma'am," I said to myself; "outlook hopeless; another visit to the Governesses' Agency inevitable; can't marry for want of a kitchen shovel." But I was imperfectly acquainted with the lady.
Bellona was ambling about him, and they were in high feather, her short, snappy barks mingling with his deeper chest-notes.
No one enjoyed it more than herself, and the saucy children prepared for the grand finale in high feather.
Whenever she and her husband were at unusual variance, then the Protestant Manual was in high feather.
The new boy went off brushing the dust from his clothes, sobbing, snuffling, and occasionally looking back and shaking his head and threatening what he would do to Tom the "next time he caught him out." To which Tom responded with jeers, and started off in high feather, and as soon as his back was turned the new boy snatched up a stone, threw it and hit him be- tween the shoulders and then turned tail and ran like an antelope.
Martin leads the way in high feather; it is quite a new sensation to him, getting companions, and he finds it very pleasant, and means to show them all manner of proofs of his science and skill.
By the time she reached Dawson's Landing, she was her old self again; her blues were gone, she was in high feather. She would get along, surely; there were many kitchens where the servants would share their meals with her, and also steal sugar and apples and other dainties for her to carry home--or give her a chance to pilfer them herself, which would answer just as well.
Trundle was in high feather and spirits, but a little nervous withal.
The fishermen, on the other hand, were in high feather, and their boasts went up and down the river to add to our discomfiture.
Then the Alderman gave an arm to each of his friends, and walked off in high feather; but, he immediately came hurrying back alone, as if he had forgotten something.
"Sally was in high feather at the success of her exploit, and danced about like an elf, as she put her night-gown on over her frock, braided her hair in funny little tails all over her head, and fastened the great red pin-cushion on her bosom for a breastpin in honor of the feast.
But this was far from being the case, and though by unwearied diligence they gained even the top of the room, their situation was just the same; they saw nothing of the dancers but the high feathers of some of the ladies.
We used birds (N = 92) from the 10th and 11th generations (G10 and G11) of lines selectively bred for high feather pecking (HFP) and low feather pecking (LFP), and from an unselected control line (CON) with intermediate levels of feather pecking.
Don't get your hackles up, but high feather prices for fly tyers aren't going way down anytime too soon.