[ feel ]
See synonyms for: feelfeelingfeelsfelt on Thesaurus.com

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.

  1. to find or pursue (one's way) by touching, groping, or cautious moves.

  2. to be or become conscious of.

  3. to be emotionally affected by: to feel one's disgrace keenly.

  4. to experience the effects of: The whole region felt the storm.

  5. to have a particular sensation or impression of (often used reflexively and usually followed by an adjunct or complement): to feel oneself slighted.

  6. 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.

  1. to perceive a state of mind or a condition of body: to feel happy; to feel well.

  2. to have a sensation of being: to feel warm.

  3. 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.

  1. the sense of touch: soft to the feel.

  2. native ability or acquired sensitivity: to have a feel for what is right.

  3. Informal. an act or instance of touching with the hand or fingers.

  4. Slang: Vulgar. an act or instance of feeling up.

  5. feels, Informal. strong, often positive feelings: That song gives me feels. I have so many feels right now.

Verb Phrases
  1. feel for,

    • to feel sympathy for or compassion toward; empathize with: I know you're disappointed and upset, and I feel for you.

    • Southeastern Pennsylvania and Maryland. to 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.

  1. feel up, Slang: Vulgar. to fondle or touch (someone) in a sexual manner.

  2. 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.

Idioms about feel

  1. cop a feel, Slang: Vulgar. to touch another person's body sexually, often in a quick and surreptitious way.

  2. feel like, Informal.

    • to have a desire for; be favorably disposed to: I don't feel like going out tonight. Do you feel like a movie?

    • to think; have the opinion (often used to soften the tone of discourse): I feel like this is the only solution in this case.

    • to have a particular impression; believe (used to express emotional sentiments): I feel like she doesn't love me anymore.

  1. 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.

  2. feel no pain. pain (def. 5).

Origin of feel

First recorded before 900; Middle English felen, Old English fēlan; cognate with Old Saxon fōlian, German fühlen; akin to Old Norse falma “to grope”; see fumble

usage note For feel

When the verb feel is used in the sense "to think or believe," it typically implies believing or having an opinion on the basis of emotion or intuition, even in circumstances unsupported by much real evidence. Although some usage experts object, such use is well established in English and can be traced as far back as Middle English. When feel is used specifically to express a subjective impression, it is often used with as if, as though, or that and followed by a full sentence: I felt as if my world had come to an end. He feels as though it is always raining. I feel that things will get better now. More informally, feel can be used without as if/as though/that : I feel he's guilty. And a full sentence does not have to follow: I felt his answer to be impolite. In the same sense of "to think or believe," an alternative phrase feel like is found in informal or casual speech. This use of feel like typically expresses an opinion or emotional sentiment with a softened or tentative tone: I feel like nothing is getting done here. I feel like he is just too arrogant. Though increasingly common, use of the phrase feel like has been criticized as lazy thinking that ignores real evidence, while avoiding confrontation and debate.

Other words from feel

  • o·ver·feel, verb, o·ver·felt, o·ver·feel·ing.
  • re·feel, verb, re·felt, re·feel·ing.

Words Nearby feel

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use feel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for feel


/ (fiːl) /

verbfeels, 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

  1. (tr) to examine (something) by touch

  2. (tr) to find (one's way) by testing or cautious exploration

  3. (copula) to seem or appear in respect of the sensation given: I feel tired; it feels warm

  4. to have an indistinct, esp emotional conviction; sense (esp in the phrase feel in one's bones)

  5. (intr foll by for) to show sympathy or compassion (towards): I feel for you in your sorrow

  6. to believe, think, or be of the opinion (that): he feels he must resign

  7. (tr often foll by up) slang to pass one's hands over the sexual organs of

  8. feel like to have an inclination (for something or doing something): I don't feel like going to the pictures

  9. feel oneself or feel quite oneself to be fit and sure of oneself

  10. 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 feeling: the house has a homely feel about it

  1. the sense of touch: the fabric is rough to the feel

  2. an instinctive aptitude; knack: she's got a feel for this sort of work

Origin of feel

Old English fēlan; related to Old High German fuolen, Old Norse fālma to grope, Latin palma palm 1

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with feel


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.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.