verb (used with object), felt, feel·ing.

  1. to perceive or examine by touch.
  2. to have a sensation of (something), other than by sight, hearing, taste, or smell: to feel a toothache.
  3. to find or pursue (one’s way) by touching, groping, or cautious moves.
  4. to be or become conscious of.
  5. to be emotionally affected by: to feel one’s disgrace keenly.
  6. to experience the effects of: The whole region felt the storm.
  7. to have a particular sensation or impression of (often used reflexively and usually followed by an adjunct or complement): to feel oneself slighted.
  8. to have a general or thorough conviction of; think; believe: I feel he’s guilty.

verb (used without object), felt, feel·ing.

  1. to have perception by touch or by any nerves of sensation other than those of sight, hearing, taste, and smell.
  2. to make examination by touch; grope.
  3. to perceive a state of mind or a condition of body: to feel happy; to feel well.
  4. to have a sensation of being: to feel warm.
  5. to make itself perceived or apparent; seem: How does it feel to be rich?


  1. a quality of an object that is perceived by feeling or touching: the soft feel of cotton.
  2. a sensation of something felt; a vague mental impression or feeling: a feel of winter; a feel of sadness in the air.
  3. the sense of touch: soft to the feel.
  4. native ability or acquired sensitivity: to have a feel for what is right.
  5. Informal. an act or instance of touching with the hand or fingers.
  6. Slang: Vulgar. an act or instance of feeling up.
  7. feels, Informal. strong, often positive feelings: That song gives me feels.I have so many feels right now.

Verb Phrases

  1. feel for,
    1. to feel sympathy for or compassion toward; empathize with: I know you’re disappointed and upset, and I feel for you.
    2. Southeastern Pennsylvania and have a liking or desire for: If you feel for more pie, just help yourself.
  2. feel out, to attempt to ascertain (the nature of a situation, someone’s attitude, etc.) by indirect or subtle means: Why not feel out the other neighbors’ opinions before you make a complaint.
  3. feel up, Slang: Vulgar. to fondle or touch (someone) in a sexual manner.
  4. feel up to, Informal. to feel or be able to; be capable of: He didn’t feel up to going to the theater so soon after his recent illness.
  1. cop a feel, Slang: Vulgar. to touch another person’s body sexually, often in a quick and surreptitious way.
  2. feel like, Informal.
    1. to have a desire for; be favorably disposed to: I don’t feel like going out tonight. Do you feel like a movie?
    2. to think; have the opinion (often used to soften the tone of discourse): I feel like this is the only solution in this case.
    3. to have a particular impression; believe (used to express emotional sentiments): I feel like she doesn’t love me anymore.
  3. feel like oneself, to be in one’s usual frame of mind or state of health: She hasn’t been feeling like herself since the accident.Also feel oneself.
  4. feel no pain. pain(def 5).

verb feels, feeling or felt (fɛlt)

  1. to perceive (something) by touching
  2. to have a physical or emotional sensation of (something)to feel heat; to feel anger
  3. (tr) to examine (something) by touch
  4. (tr) to find (one’s way) by testing or cautious exploration
  5. (copula) to seem or appear in respect of the sensation givenI feel tired; it feels warm
  6. to have an indistinct, esp emotional conviction; sense (esp in the phrase feel in one’s bones)
  7. (intr foll by for) to show sympathy or compassion (towards)I feel for you in your sorrow
  8. to believe, think, or be of the opinion (that)he feels he must resign
  9. (tr often foll by up) slang to pass one’s hands over the sexual organs of
  10. feel like to have an inclination (for something or doing something)I don’t feel like going to the pictures
  11. feel oneself or feel quite oneself to be fit and sure of oneself
  12. feel up to (usually used with a negative or in a question) to be fit enough for (something or doing something)I don’t feel up to going out tonight


  1. the act or an instance of feeling, esp by touching
  2. the quality of or an impression from something perceived through feelingthe house has a homely feel about it
  3. the sense of touchthe fabric is rough to the feel
  4. an instinctive aptitude; knackshe’s got a feel for this sort of work

Old English felan “to touch, perceive,” from Proto-Germanic *foljan (cf. Old Saxon gifolian, Old Frisian fela, Dutch voelen, Old High German vuolen, German fühlen “to feel,” Old Norse falma “to grope”), from PIE root *pal- “to touch, feel, shake, strike softly” (cf. Greek psallein “to pluck (the harp),” Latin palpare “to touch softly, stroke,” palpitare “to move quickly”), perhaps ultimately imitative.

The sense in Old English was “to perceive through senses which are not referred to any special organ.” Sense of “be conscious of a sensation or emotion” developed by late 13c.; that of “to have sympathy or compassion” is from c.1600. To feel like “want to” attested from 1829.


early 13c., “sensation, understanding,” from feel (v.). Meaning “action of feeling” is from mid-15c. “Sensation produced by something” is from 1739. Noun sense of “sexual grope” is from 1932; from verbal phrase to feel (someone) up (1930).


  1. To perceive through the sense of touch.
  2. To perceive as a physical sensation, as of pain.
  3. To be conscious of a particular physical, mental, or emotional state.

In addition to the idioms beginning with feel

  • feel bad
  • feel blue
  • feel for
  • feel free
  • feel in one’s bones
  • feel like
  • feel like death
  • feel like oneself
  • feel like two cents
  • feel no pain
  • feel oneself
  • feel one’s oats
  • feel one’s way
  • feel out
  • feel out of place
  • feel put upon
  • feel someone up
  • feel the pinch
  • feel up to

also see:

  • (feel) at home
  • cop a feel
  • get the feel of
  • (feel) put upon

Also seefeelings.

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