- a person or thing that feels.
- 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.
- Zoology. an organ of touch, as an antenna or a tentacle.
- Also called feeler gauge. Engineering. a gauge having several blades of known thickness, used for measuring clearances.
- Nautical. a device for indicating that the lead of a mechanical sounding device has come to the bottom.
Origin of feeler
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a thin metal strip of known thickness used to measure a narrow gap or to set a gap between two parts
- a person or thing that feels
- an organ in certain animals, such as an antenna or tentacle, that is sensitive to touch
- 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
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
- 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.
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.