feeler

[fee-ler]
See more synonyms for feeler on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a person or thing that feels.
  2. a proposal, remark, hint, etc., designed to bring out the opinions or purposes of others: Interested in an accord, both labor and management were putting out feelers.
  3. Zoology. an organ of touch, as an antenna or a tentacle.
  4. Also called feeler gauge. Engineering. a gauge having several blades of known thickness, used for measuring clearances.
  5. Nautical. a device for indicating that the lead of a mechanical sounding device has come to the bottom.

Origin of feeler

First recorded in 1520–30; feel + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for feeler

Historical Examples of feeler

  • "I see you have Diablo entered for the Brooklyn," Faust put out as a feeler.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Roll in dried and powdered coral, and put a piece of feeler in each.

    The Skilful Cook

    Mary Harrison

  • He expected to feel the jerk of the electric shock of the feeler.

    The Whispering Spheres

    Russell Robert Winterbotham

  • Just a feeler of Frémont's—his army's three miles over there in the woods.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • Note the knob on the end of the butterfly's feeler (Fig. 143).

    Agriculture for Beginners

    Charles William Burkett


British Dictionary definitions for feeler

feeler

noun
  1. a person or thing that feels
  2. an organ in certain animals, such as an antenna or tentacle, that is sensitive to touch
  3. a remark designed to probe the reactions or intentions of other people
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

Word Origin and History for feeler
n.

early 15c., "one who feels," agent noun from feel (v.). Of animal organs, 1660s. Transferred sense of "proposal put forth to observe the reaction it gets" is from 1830. Related: Feelers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

feeler in Science

feeler

[fēlər]
  1. A slender body part used for touching or sensing. The antennae of insects and the barbels of catfish are feelers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with feeler

feeler

see put out feelers.

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