feeler gauge

feeler

[fee-ler]
noun
1.
a person or thing that feels.
2.
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.
3.
Zoology. an organ of touch, as an antenna or a tentacle.
4.
Also called feeler gauge. Engineering. a gauge having several blades of known thickness, used for measuring clearances.
5.
Nautical. a device for indicating that the lead of a mechanical sounding device has come to the bottom.

Origin:
1520–30; feel + -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
feeler (ˈfiːlə)
 
n
1.  a person or thing that feels
2.  an organ in certain animals, such as an antenna or tentacle, that is sensitive to touch
3.  a remark designed to probe the reactions or intentions of other people

feeler gauge
 
n
a thin metal strip of known thickness used to measure a narrow gap or to set a gap between two parts

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

feeler
1520s, one who feels; of animal organs, 1660s; agent noun from feel. Transferred sense of proposal put forth to observe the reaction it gets is from 1830. Related: Feelers.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
feeler   (fē'lər)  Pronunciation Key 
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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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