v. felt (fĕlt), feel·ing, feels
a. To perceive through the sense of touch: feel the velvety smoothness of a peach.
b. To perceive as a physical sensation: feel a sharp pain; feel the cold.
a. To touch: reached out and felt the wall.
b. To examine by touching: felt the fabric for flaws. See Synonyms at touch.
3. To test or explore with caution: feel one's way in a new job.
a. To undergo the experience of: felt my interest rising; felt great joy.
b. To be aware of; sense: felt the anger of the crowd.
c. To be emotionally affected by: She still feels the loss of her dog.
a. To be persuaded of (something) on the basis of intuition, emotion, or other indefinite grounds: I feel that what the informant says may well be true.
b. To believe; think: She felt his answer to be evasive.
1. To experience the sensation of touch.
a. To produce a particular sensation, especially through the sense of touch: The sheets felt smooth.
b. To produce a particular impression; appear to be; seem: It feels good to be home. See Usage Note at well2.
3. To be conscious of a specified kind or quality of physical, mental, or emotional state: felt warm and content; feels strongly about the election.
4. To seek or explore something by the sense of touch: felt for the light switch in the dark.
5. To have compassion or sympathy: I feel for him in his troubles.
1. Perception by touch or by sensation of the skin: a feel of autumn in the air.
2. The sense of touch: a surface that is rough to the feel.
a. An act or instance of touching or feeling: gave the carpet a feel.
b. Vulgar An act or instance of sexual touching or fondling.
4. An overall impression or effect: "gives such disparate pictures ... a crazily convincing documentary feel" (Stephen King).
5. Intuitive awareness or natural ability: has a feel for decorating.
To try cautiously or indirectly to ascertain the viewpoint or nature of: We'd better feel out the situation before acting.
feel up VulgarIdioms:
To touch or fondle (someone) sexually.
feel in (one's) bones
To have an intuition of.
feel like Informal
To have an inclination or desire for: felt like going for a walk.
feel like (oneself)
To sense oneself as being in one's normal state of health or spirits: I just don't feel like myself today.
feel (one's) oats
1. To be energetic and playful.
2. To act in a self-important manner.
[Middle English felen, from Old English fēlan; see pāl- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.