v. felt (fĕlt), feel·ing, feels
a. To perceive through the sense of touch: feel the velvety smoothness of a peach.
b. To perceive as a physical sensation: feel a sharp pain; feel the cold.
a. To touch: reached out and felt the wall.
b. To examine by touching: felt the fabric for flaws. See Synonyms at touch.
3. To test or explore with caution: feel one's way in a new job.
a. To undergo the experience of: felt my interest rising; felt great joy.
b. To be aware of; sense: felt the anger of the crowd.
c. To be emotionally affected by: She still feels the loss of her dog.
a. To be persuaded of (something) on the basis of intuition, emotion, or other indefinite grounds: I feel that what the informant says may well be true.
b. To believe; think: She felt his answer to be evasive.
1. To experience the sensation of touch.
a. To produce a particular sensation, especially through the sense of touch: The sheets felt smooth.
b. To produce a particular impression; appear to be; seem: It feels good to be home. See Usage Note at well2.
3. To be conscious of a specified kind or quality of physical, mental, or emotional state: felt warm and content; feels strongly about the election.
4. To seek or explore something by the sense of touch: felt for the light switch in the dark.
5. To have compassion or sympathy: I feel for him in his troubles.
1. Perception by touch or by sensation of the skin: a feel of autumn in the air.
2. The sense of touch: a surface that is rough to the feel.
a. An act or instance of touching or feeling: gave the carpet a feel.
b. Vulgar An act or instance of sexual touching or fondling.
4. An overall impression or effect: "gives such disparate pictures ... a crazily convincing documentary feel" (Stephen King).
5. Intuitive awareness or natural ability: has a feel for decorating.
To try cautiously or indirectly to ascertain the viewpoint or nature of: We'd better feel out the situation before acting.
feel up VulgarIdioms:
To touch or fondle (someone) sexually.
feel in (one's) bones
To have an intuition of.
feel like Informal
To have an inclination or desire for: felt like going for a walk.
feel like (oneself)
To sense oneself as being in one's normal state of health or spirits: I just don't feel like myself today.
feel (one's) oats
1. To be energetic and playful.
2. To act in a self-important manner.
[Middle English felen, from Old English fēlan; see pāl- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.