put out feelers


Discreetly try to learn something, as in They put out feelers to see if anyone was interested in buying the company. This idiom alludes to an animal's feelers, such as antennae or tentacles, used to find food. [First half of 1800s]

Words Nearby 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.

How to use put out feelers in a sentence

  • During this time Charmian was beginning to "put out feelers."

    The Way of Ambition | Robert Hichens