simple past tense and past participle of feel.




a nonwoven fabric of wool, fur, or hair, matted together by heat, moisture, and great pressure.
any article made of this material, as a hat.
any matted fabric or material, as a mat of asbestos fibers, rags, or old paper, used for insulation and in construction.


pertaining to or made of felt.

verb (used with object)

to make into felt; mat or press together.
to cover with or as with felt.

verb (used without object)

to become matted together.

Origin of felt

before 1000; Middle English, Old English; cognate with German Filz; see filter



verb (used with object), felt, feel·ing.

to perceive or examine by touch.
to have a sensation of (something), other than by sight, hearing, taste, or smell: to feel a toothache.
to find or pursue (one's way) by touching, groping, or cautious moves.
to be or become conscious of.
to be emotionally affected by: to feel one's disgrace keenly.
to experience the effects of: The whole region felt the storm.
to have a particular sensation or impression of (often used reflexively and usually followed by an adjunct or complement): to feel oneself slighted.
to have a general or thorough conviction of; think; believe: I feel he's guilty.

verb (used without object), felt, feel·ing.

to have perception by touch or by any nerves of sensation other than those of sight, hearing, taste, and smell.
to make examination by touch; grope.
to perceive a state of mind or a condition of body: to feel happy; to feel well.
to have a sensation of being: to feel warm.
to make itself perceived or apparent; seem: How does it feel to be rich?


a quality of an object that is perceived by feeling or touching: the soft feel of cotton.
a sensation of something felt; a vague mental impression or feeling: a feel of winter; a feel of sadness in the air.
the sense of touch: soft to the feel.
native ability or acquired sensitivity: to have a feel for what is right.
Informal. an act or instance of touching with the hand or fingers.
Slang: Vulgar. an act or instance of feeling up.
feels, Informal. strong, often positive feelings: That song gives me feels.I have so many feels right now.

Verb Phrases

feel for,
  1. to feel sympathy for or compassion toward; empathize with: I know you're disappointed and upset, and I feel for you.
  2. Southeastern Pennsylvania and Maryland.to have a liking or desire for: If you feel for more pie, just help yourself.
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.
feel up, Slang: Vulgar. to fondle or touch (someone) in a sexual manner.
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.

Origin of feel

before 900; Middle English felen, Old English fēlan; cognate with Old Saxon fōlian, German fühlen; akin to Old Norse falma to grope. See fumble
Related formso·ver·feel, verb, o·ver·felt, o·ver·feel·ing.re·feel, verb, re·felt, re·feel·ing.

Usage note

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for felt

Contemporary Examples of felt

Historical Examples of felt

  • Once it was that he had felt a sudden great longing for the life of a gay city.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • From the first moment you spoke, I have felt this mysterious power.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • But the upper edges are ragged, torn by a wind not yet felt below.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He felt morally bound to get it repaired, though he was guiltless of the damage.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Mauburn felt the rock foundations of Manhattan Island to be crumbling to dust.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for felt




the past tense and past participle of feel




  1. a matted fabric of wool, hair, etc, made by working the fibres together under pressure or by heat or chemical action
  2. (as modifier)a felt hat
any material, such as asbestos, made by a similar process of matting


(tr) to make into or cover with felt
(intr) to become matted

Word Origin for felt

Old English; related to Old Saxon filt, Old High German filz felt, Latin pellere to beat, Greek pelas close; see anvil, filter


verb feels, feeling or felt (fɛlt)

to perceive (something) by touching
to have a physical or emotional sensation of (something)to feel heat; to feel anger
(tr) to examine (something) by touch
(tr) to find (one's way) by testing or cautious exploration
(copula) to seem or appear in respect of the sensation givenI feel tired; it feels warm
to have an indistinct, esp emotional conviction; sense (esp in the phrase feel in one's bones)
(intr foll by for) to show sympathy or compassion (towards)I feel for you in your sorrow
to believe, think, or be of the opinion (that)he feels he must resign
(tr often foll by up) slang to pass one's hands over the sexual organs of
feel like to have an inclination (for something or doing something)I don't feel like going to the pictures
feel oneself or feel quite oneself to be fit and sure of oneself
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


the act or an instance of feeling, esp by touching
the quality of or an impression from something perceived through feelingthe house has a homely feel about it
the sense of touchthe fabric is rough to the feel
an instinctive aptitude; knackshe's got a feel for this sort of work

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for felt

Old English felt, from West Germanic *feltaz "something beaten, compressed wool" (cf. Old Saxon filt, Middle Dutch vilt, Old High German filz, German Filz, Danish filt), from Proto-Germanic *felt- "to beat," from PIE *pel- "to thrust, strike, drive" (cf. Old Church Slavonic plusti), with a sense of "beating" (see pulse (n.1)).


"to make into felt," early 14c. (implied in felted); see felt (n.).


past tense and past participle of feel (v.).



Old English felan "to touch, perceive," from Proto-Germanic *foljan (cf. Old Saxon gifolian, Old Frisian fela, Dutch voelen, Old High German vuolen, German fühlen "to feel," Old Norse falma "to grope"), from PIE root *pal- "to touch, feel, shake, strike softly" (cf. Greek psallein "to pluck (the harp)," Latin palpare "to touch softly, stroke," palpitare "to move quickly"), perhaps ultimately imitative.

The sense in Old English was "to perceive through senses which are not referred to any special organ." Sense of "be conscious of a sensation or emotion" developed by late 13c.; that of "to have sympathy or compassion" is from c.1600. To feel like "want to" attested from 1829.



early 13c., "sensation, understanding," from feel (v.). Meaning "action of feeling" is from mid-15c. "Sensation produced by something" is from 1739. Noun sense of "sexual grope" is from 1932; from verbal phrase to feel (someone) up (1930).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for felt




To perceive through the sense of touch.
To perceive as a physical sensation, as of pain.
To be conscious of a particular physical, mental, or emotional state.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with felt


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.