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

1125–75; Middle English; see feel, -ing1, -ing2

feelingly, adverb
feelingness, noun
nonfeeling, adjective
nonfeelingly, adverb
underfeeling, noun

6. sympathy, empathy, tenderness, sensitivity, sentiment. 12. emotional, tender. 13. impassioned, passionate.

5, 6. apathy. 12. cold.

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used with object), felt, feeling.
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, feeling.
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.
Verb phrases
feel for,
to feel sympathy for or compassion toward; empathize with: I know you're disappointed and upset, and I feel for you.
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.
cop a feel, Slang: Vulgar. to touch another person's body sexually, often in a quick and surreptitious way.
feel like, Informal. to have a desire for; be favorably disposed to: I don't feel like going out tonight. Do you feel like a movie?
feel like oneself, to be in one's usual frame of mind or state of health: She hasn't been feeling like herself since the accident. Also, feel oneself.
feel no pain. pain ( def 5 ).

before 900; Middle English felen, Old English fēlan; cognate with Old Saxon fōlian, German fühlen; akin to Old Norse falma to grope. See fumble

overfeel, verb, overfelt, overfeeling.
refeel, verb, refelt, refeeling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To feeling
World English Dictionary
feel (fiːl)
vb (foll by for) (often foll by up) , feels, feeling, felt
1.  to perceive (something) by touching
2.  to have a physical or emotional sensation of (something): to feel heat; to feel anger
3.  (tr) to examine (something) by touch
4.  (tr) to find (one's way) by testing or cautious exploration
5.  (copula) to seem or appear in respect of the sensation given: I feel tired; it feels warm
6.  to have an indistinct, esp emotional conviction; sense (esp in the phrase feel in one's bones)
7.  to show sympathy or compassion (towards): I feel for you in your sorrow
8.  to believe, think, or be of the opinion (that): he feels he must resign
9.  slang to pass one's hands over the sexual organs of
10.  feel like to have an inclination (for something or doing something): I don't feel like going to the pictures
11.  feel oneself, feel quite oneself to be fit and sure of oneself
12.  (usually used with a negative or in a question) feel up to to be fit enough for (something or doing something): I don't feel up to going out tonight
13.  the act or an instance of feeling, esp by touching
14.  the quality of or an impression from something perceived through feeling: the house has a homely feel about it
15.  the sense of touch: the fabric is rough to the feel
16.  an instinctive aptitude; knack: she's got a feel for this sort of work
[Old English fēlan; related to Old High German fuolen, Old Norse fālma to grope, Latin palmapalm1]

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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. felan "to touch," from Gmc. *folijanan (cf. Du. voelen, Ger. fühlen "to feel," O.N. falma "to grope"), from PIE base *(s)pol-/*(s)pal- "to strike softly" (cf. Gk. psallein "to pluck (the harp)," L. palpare "to touch softly, stroke," palpitare "to move quickly"). The sense in O.E. 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. Noun sense of "sexual grope" is from 1932; from verbal phrase to feel (someone) up (1930).

"emotion," mid-14c., verbal noun from feel (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

feel (fēl)
v. felt (fělt), feel·ing, feels

  1. To perceive through the sense of touch.

  2. To perceive as a physical sensation, as of pain.

  3. To be conscious of a particular physical, mental, or emotional state.

feeling n.

  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.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in psychology, the perception of events within the body, closely related to emotion. The term feeling is a verbal noun denoting the action of the verb to feel, which derives etymologically from the Middle English verb felen, "to perceive by touch, by palpation." It soon came to mean, more generally, to perceive through those senses that are not referred to any special organ. As the known special organs of sense were the ones mediating the perception of the external world, the verb to feel came also to mean the perception of events within the body. Psychologists disagree on the use of the term feeling. The preceding definition accords with that of the American psychologist R.S. Woodworth, who defines the problem of feeling and emotion as that of the individual's "internal state." Many psychologists, however, still follow the German philosopher Immanuel Kant in equating feeling to states of pleasantness and unpleasantness, known in psychology as affect.

Learn more about feeling with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Even the much-vaunted state sector is feeling the pinch.
The people experience is mind-boggling and ultimately leaves you feeling
Exhilarating is the word that comes to mind to describe the feeling of
  approaching these animals.
Feeling paranoid means harboring unreasonable suspicions of people and
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