See more synonyms for feeling on Thesaurus.com
  1. the function or the power of perceiving by touch.
  2. physical sensation not connected with sight, hearing, taste, or smell.
  3. a particular sensation of this kind: a feeling of warmth; a feeling of pain.
  4. the general state of consciousness considered independently of particular sensations, thoughts, etc.
  5. a consciousness or vague awareness: a feeling of inferiority.
  6. an emotion or emotional perception or attitude: a feeling of joy; a feeling of sorrow.
  7. capacity for emotion, especially compassion: to have great feeling for the sufferings of others.
  8. a sentiment; attitude; opinion: The general feeling was in favor of the proposal.
  9. feelings, sensibilities; susceptibilities: to hurt one's feelings.
  10. fine emotional endowment.
  11. (in music, art, etc.)
    1. emotion or sympathetic perception revealed by an artist in his or her work: a poem without feeling.
    2. the general impression conveyed by a work: a landscape painting with a spacious feeling.
    3. sympathetic appreciation, as of music: to play with feeling.
  1. sensitive; sentient.
  2. readily affected by emotion; sympathetic: a feeling heart.
  3. indicating or characterized by emotion: a feeling reply to the charge.

Origin of feeling

Middle English word dating back to 1125–75; see origin at feel, -ing1, -ing2
Related formsfeel·ing·ly, adverbfeel·ing·ness, nounnon·feel·ing, adjectivenon·feel·ing·ly, adverbun·der·feel·ing, noun

Synonym study

5. Feeling, emotion, passion, sentiment refer to pleasurable or painful sensations experienced when one is stirred to sympathy, anger, fear, love, grief, etc. Feeling is a general term for a subjective point of view as well as for specific sensations: to be guided by feeling rather than by facts; a feeling of sadness, of rejoicing. Emotion is applied to an intensified feeling: agitated by emotion. Passion is strong or violent emotion, often so overpowering that it masters the mind or judgment: stirred to a passion of anger. Sentiment is a mixture of thought and feeling, especially refined or tender feeling: Recollections are often colored by sentiment.

Synonyms for feeling

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Antonyms for feeling

5, 6. apathy. 12. cold.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for feelings

Contemporary Examples of feelings

Historical Examples of feelings

  • Philæmon averted his face for a moment, and struggled hard with his feelings.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • The feelings with which Robert read and his mother listened to this letter, were varied.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • It was Aldonza, however, who specially touched her feelings.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Such of the sailors as happened to be on deck shared his feelings.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Don't consider my feelings, Captain Haley, but say what you have to say.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

British Dictionary definitions for feelings


  1. the sense of touch
    1. the ability to experience physical sensations, such as heat, pain, etc
    2. the sensation so experienced
  2. a state of mind
  3. a physical or mental impressiona feeling of warmth
  4. fondness; sympathyto have a great deal of feeling for someone
  5. an ability to feel deeplya person of feeling
  6. a sentimenta feeling that the project is feasible
  7. an impression or mood; atmospherethe feeling of a foreign city
  8. an emotional disturbance, esp anger or dislikea lot of bad feeling about the increase in taxes
  9. intuitive appreciation and understandinga feeling for words
  10. sensibility in the performance of something
  11. (plural) emotional or moral sensitivity, as in relation to principles or personal dignity (esp in the phrase hurt or injure the feelings of)
  12. have feelings for to be emotionally or sexually attracted to
  1. sentient; sensitive
  2. expressing or containing emotion
  3. warm-hearted; sympathetic
Derived Formsfeelingly, adverb
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 feelings

"tender or sensitive side of one's nature," 1771, from plural of feeling.



late 12c., "act of touching, sense of touch," verbal noun from feel (v.). Meaning "emotion" is mid-14c. Meaning "what one feels (about something), opinion" is from mid-15c. Meaning "capacity to feel" is from 1580s. Related: Feelingly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

feelings in Medicine


  1. The sensation involving perception by touch.
  2. A physical sensation, as of pain.
  3. An affective state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments, or desires.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with feelings


see hard feelings; mixed feelings; no hard feelings; run high, (feelings); sinking feeling.

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