Definition of feel in English:

feel

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Be aware of (a person or object) through touching or being touched:

    ‘she felt someone touch her shoulder’
    ‘you can feel the soft grass beneath your feet’
    • ‘She testified that she placed her left hand on the man's forehead and felt no hair.’
    • ‘Both of them were pacing around the beach, feeling the hot sand beneath their cold feet.’
    • ‘I walked around the park in my bare feet, feeling the cool soft grass, until I found a shady spot to sit down.’
    • ‘He suddenly felt his brother's hand on his arm.’
    • ‘She could feel a rough wall against her back and she wondered where they had taken her.’
    • ‘She felt around for the lock and grimaced when she felt the cold metal touch her skin.’
    • ‘I can almost feel the texture of candyfloss in my hair or the stickiness of a toffee apple all over my face.’
    • ‘When Turat tugs a long, sturdy aluminum tent stake out of the ground, he feels the pointed end with his finger and catches Smith's eye.’
    • ‘Alexia was about to get up when she was yanked backwards by her hair, she felt a knife at her throat and looked up.’
    • ‘I felt someone touch my hand.’
    perceive, sense, detect, discern, make out, notice, observe, identify
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Be aware of (something happening) through physical sensation:
      ‘she felt the ground give way beneath her’
      • ‘She found a rare empty seat and was walking toward it when she felt a tap on her shoulder.’
      • ‘While it is still winter, we can start to feel the change in climate upon us.’
      • ‘He felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end as he sensed that Lucas was nearby.’
      • ‘She felt them braid her hair very tightly and then heard them take the scissors to it.’
      • ‘He could still close his eyes and see her face, smell her hair and feel the touch of her hand on his.’
      • ‘I felt a strand of hair fall across my face and a moment later a tender hand brush it back into place.’
      • ‘Lise felt the vibrations on the ground coming closer.’
      • ‘A familiar Spring breeze blew past us and I felt my hair brushing against my face.’
      • ‘She could hear shallow breathing and felt the warmth of a body turn over.’
      • ‘Sitting in the car on a wet afternoon, I felt the hairs prick up on the back of my neck.’
      • ‘After a few minutes, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end like he was being watched.’
      • ‘When he hears a particularly fine piece, he says he can feel the hairs coming up on his arms.’
      • ‘When she stepped out of the alley, she immediately felt the hair on the back of her neck prickle.’
      • ‘She felt it remove the short ribbon binding her hair, felt the braid loosen and her blue tresses whip free.’
      • ‘A hand went up to her hair as she felt it falling out of the bun in wisps beside her temples.’
      • ‘She could feel the water begin to ebb away from her skin, and she felt her damp hair drying.’
      • ‘I didn't know what was going on, but apparently they had felt the vibrations from the quake and come out of the sand.’
      • ‘He had just turned on the water and began shampooing his hair when he felt the door open.’
      • ‘Cecil ran a soothing hand down her hair as he felt tears coursing down his own face.’
    2. 1.2 Examine or search by touch:
      ‘he touched her head and felt her hair’
      [no object] ‘he felt around for the matches’
      • ‘He backed away from the couch, and felt for the light switch.’
      • ‘I felt around and found some old newspapers and tried to cover myself.’
      • ‘On her way down the stairs she felt inside her pocket to make sure she still had the keys.’
      • ‘In the afternoon Burginde rummaged amongst our wool sacks, feeling with her hands how much carded fleece was left.’
      • ‘She ran a hand through her hair and felt the cut where she had been roughed up by Derek.’
      • ‘Mac ran a hand over his short hair, then gently felt the bump on the back of his head.’
      • ‘I felt around under the bed for some kind of weapon: if they made one more move on him it'd be their last.’
      • ‘I just keep feeling the hair in the back there and trying to get all the hair on the back of my neck off.’
      • ‘Head to the first floor where the exhibitors have taken individual rooms to get you to see, touch, and feel the products.’
      touch, stroke, caress, fondle, finger, thumb, handle, manipulate, fiddle with, play with, toy with, maul
      test, try, try out, assess
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3[no object] Be capable of sensation:
      ‘the dead cannot feel’
      • ‘Collections of people do not have unique consciousness or identities: ‘society’ and ‘the people’ do not feel, need, think, or have rights.’
      • ‘I don't feel, can't feel, don't want to feel.’
    4. 1.4[no object, with complement] Give a sensation of a particular physical quality when touched:
      ‘the wool feels soft’
      • ‘The soft baby skin felt like silk and the bit of fuzz on the baby's head tickled Maya's hand.’
      • ‘I continued to feel relaxed all evening, my face had a healthy glow and my skin had never felt softer.’
      • ‘The lightweight, non-oily formula absorbs instantly so skin feels clean, soft and smooth.’
      • ‘Rest assured that the material used in this is of a much higher quality, and feels good to the touch.’
      • ‘The sand beneath my feet felt so good, soft and cool while the ocean water came up to my ankles.’
      • ‘Her palm feels warm and soft and smooth, and I know because I shook hands with her when I wished her good luck for her history exam.’
      • ‘Fleece is made from polyester and is designed to feel soft, warm and elastic.’
      • ‘It rubs in quickly leaving your skin feeling softer after a few minutes.’
      • ‘The NRC developed a new enzyme, designed to make hemp feel softer but remain durable.’
      • ‘Remove the garlic and continue cooking the aubergine for a further ten minutes, or until it feels soft and the skin is charred and black.’
      • ‘Add powdered milk until dough feels soft, smooth, and not sticky.’
      • ‘My energy levels appear to be rising and my skin is losing its papery pallor and feels softer.’
      • ‘It was deep and had wonderful hues of gold and other colors mingled in with it and it even felt soft to walk on.’
      • ‘She gave me her hand, which felt cold, like the skin of a serpent.’
      • ‘If your lawn feels soft and spongy, chances are you've got thatch.’
      • ‘Placing his hand on the creature's neck, Erik let out a small smile as he felt how soft it was.’
      • ‘My clothes feel wet.’
      seem, appear, strike one as
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5feel something outinformal Investigate something cautiously:
      ‘they want to feel out the situation’
      • ‘They were cautiously feeling things out, but when the conversation didn't blow up in their faces, their voices grew more confident.’
      • ‘After you feel the situation out you can take appropriate action.’
      • ‘Over the next four years he made further visits to New York to feel out the market.’
      • ‘An analyst reported that elements in the army were feeling out support from foreign governments for a move against the president.’
    6. 1.6feel someone upinformal Fondle someone surreptitiously and without their consent, for one's own sexual stimulation.
      • ‘After Evan had felt me up, I really didn't like people touching me.’
      • ‘We start making out and I started feeling her up.’
      • ‘While waiting in queue to buy their tickets, they were mobbed by local men, who manhandled them, pushed them into a corner, pressed against them and felt them up.’
      • ‘They groped us, felt us up and thrust their pelvic regions into our backsides.’
      • ‘So, if you want to get close, maybe try to feel out her worldview before you feel her up.’
      • ‘I spin my head to see who felt me up, and it's just a woman with no distinguishable features who looks like she's on her way to work too.’
      • ‘He taught me and my sister backgammon and felt us up.’
      • ‘But if you were felt up at a high school party because you got a little too drunk to say no, maybe we should put you in jail.’
      • ‘He wants you all to himself, he doesn't even like other people looking at you, much less feeling you up,’ he said in a sexy voice, and pulled her close to him.’
      • ‘Yeah, he was just feeling you up and getting off with you!’
      caress, stroke, pat, pet, pull, finger, touch, tickle, twiddle, play with, massage, knead
      View synonyms
  • 2Experience (an emotion or sensation):

    ‘I felt a sense of excitement’
    [no object, with complement] ‘she started to feel really sick’
    ‘it felt odd to be alone again’
    [no object] ‘we feel very strongly about freedom of expression’
    • ‘However, she felt a twinge of disappointment when she couldn't see him.’
    • ‘All the swallowing has made me feel ill and keeping anything down is hard.’
    • ‘However, not all SFU students feel so strongly about the issue.’
    • ‘She almost felt ashamed for it, though she knew she shouldn't.’
    • ‘We like people to settle in, make it their own and feel comfortable.’
    • ‘In general, respondents felt confident in their abilities to deal with alcohol problems.’
    • ‘Reading a diary - even if its author is several hundred years dead - sometimes feels voyeuristic.’
    • ‘Training supported by a mentoring programme and a help desk can help staff feel more secure.’
    • ‘He made me feel welcome when I came back from my injury, too.’
    • ‘I felt dizzy from standing so quickly when I had gotten out of bed.’
    • ‘He felt a strong urge to run, but his friends were in there.’
    • ‘Reddish tints gleamed in her hair, and he felt the urge to run his hands through it.’
    • ‘Can the reader feel pity and terror for Macbeth?’
    • ‘Does this mean I have to find friends that make me feel inferior?’
    • ‘I felt like a failure and ate more, only making me feel worse.’
    • ‘I have just been down to Myrtle Walk and felt physically sickened by its filthy, dilapidated state.’
    • ‘She pulled herself up using the wall as a support, still feeling dizzy.’
    • ‘Maybe you should do something nice for her, to make her feel special.’
    • ‘Do you ever feel uncomfortable leaving a comment on a blog you've never commented on before?’
    • ‘Many women feel uneasy about taking medications during pregnancy.’
    • ‘He might feel shock or surprise or perhaps amusement, and I did not want my gift to give rise to any of these thoughts in him.’
    • ‘When I think about it, I just feel horribly guilty.’
    • ‘She forced herself to refocus on what was going on in front of her and suddenly felt at ease.’
    • ‘We also aim to make parents feel more confident.’
    • ‘It can take several minutes to complete the mayonnaise, by which time your whisking arm will feel dead.’
    • ‘They both grinned at me and I suddenly felt uncomfortable under their gazes.’
    experience, undergo, go through, bear, endure, suffer, be forced to contend with
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[no object, with complement] Consider oneself to be in a particular state or exhibiting particular qualities:
      ‘he doesn't feel obliged to visit every weekend’
      ‘she felt such a fool’
      • ‘The only thing I felt capable of doing was locking myself in a room and making a record.’
      • ‘There's no gate at the entrance and students just don't feel safe.’
      • ‘I feel better and more capable, and more attractive now than I have ever felt in my life.’
      • ‘The survey highlighted that 68 per cent of the residents feel safer now than they did before the Neighbourhood Wardens started.’
      • ‘But following off-season surgery to his wrist and shoulder, he feels ready for the physical demands of Super League.’
      • ‘He pulled his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around his legs feeling very out of place.’
      • ‘But, just a few months shy of his 28th birthday, as well as reaching his peak physically, he feels that he is at his mental best, too.’
      • ‘The capital side have been excelling in ladies football for the past few seasons, however this team now feels capable of taking on anyone.’
      • ‘Parents feel helpless in today's changing world and wonder how to cope with the truant child.’
      • ‘I twisted my hair up in a knot and suddenly, in the soft light, felt quite beautiful.’
      • ‘Jones says it is not just about dealing with employees that feel under pressure.’
      • ‘Her people are crying in front of her and she felt out of place.’
      • ‘They had felt capable of carrying out the work which was being sought.’
      • ‘It was helpful, but I felt a failure if I couldn't make him fall around laughing.’
      • ‘Perhaps in some way they feel abandoned and search for someone who is always going to need them.’
      • ‘These are the people who rock up to class each week just because it makes them feel dead sexy.’
      • ‘After losing more than a stone since the Open, he also feels in the best physical shape of his life.’
      • ‘When you feel comfortable on one foot with your eyes open, close them.’
      consider, think, regard, look on as, view as, see as, hold to be, judge, adjudge, rate as, deem to be, account, esteem
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2feel up to[no object] Have the strength and energy to do or deal with:
      ‘after the accident she didn't feel up to driving’
      • ‘Be gentle with yourself if you don't feel up to exercising.’
      • ‘Today's technicians welcome the focus on their jobs and feel up to the challenge.’
      • ‘I have not felt up to writing this description of events until today.’
      • ‘She asked if we needed any help, and I said we could maybe use a hand if she felt up to it.’
    3. 2.3feel oneself[usually with negative] Be healthy and well:
      ‘Ruth was not quite feeling herself’
      • ‘Two decades ago she was a highly driven academic - until the fateful morning when she got out of bed feeling not quite herself.’
      • ‘I wasn't really concentrating and I wasn't feeling myself.’
    4. 2.4 Be strongly affected by:
      ‘he didn't feel the loss of his mother so keenly’
      ‘investors who have felt the effects of the recession’
      • ‘As a committed family man he would have felt those tragedies keenly.’
      • ‘When trading started again on Monday morning, the financial impact of the failure was quickly felt.’
      • ‘Smith died in 2003 of a fatal stab wound to the heart and his departure has been felt around the world.’
      • ‘Art is a luxury, so our industry often feels an economic downturn before other industries.’
      • ‘We're all feeling the loss of heroes that we love.’
      • ‘The effects of climate change continue to be felt around the world, with increasing severity.’
    5. 2.5feel for[no object] Have compassion for:
      ‘poor woman—I do feel for her’
      • ‘He genuinely feels for his people, and he wants them to be in a position where they don't have to suffer any longer.’
      • ‘People have truly felt for the victims and responded with money and in other ways.’
      • ‘He does not feel for the families of the dead or for the thirty-five million of us who live in poverty.’
      • ‘We feel deeply for the plight of the refugees.’
      sympathize with, be sorry for, pity, feel pity for, feel sympathy for, feel compassion for, empathize with, identify with, be moved by, weep for, grieve for, sorrow for
      commiserate with, condole with
      compassion
      View synonyms
  • 3[with clause] Have a belief or impression, especially without an identifiable reason:

    ‘she felt that the woman positively disliked her’
    • ‘Lesley now feels her search has hit a brick wall and would desperately like help or advice on how to take it further.’
    • ‘Probably only two seconds had gone by, but it felt like an eternity.’
    • ‘I knew there were lots of things I wasn't doing right but I always felt I was capable of it, you know?’
    • ‘I did not get really angry at her - for some reason I felt I had to be gentle with her.’
    • ‘After three years of hard graft in LA, the young Dubliner felt success was just a matter of time.’
    • ‘‘My guys up there said it felt like an eternity,’ Marks said.’
    • ‘It's almost as if people feel the need to apologize if they don't follow some party line.’
    sense, have a feeling, get the impression, feel in one's bones, have a hunch, have a funny feeling, just know, intuit
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Hold an opinion:
      ‘I felt I could make a useful contribution’
      • ‘But he felt the markets might lose their special appeal if they became a routine, weekly event.’
      • ‘We felt these meetings did give people the opportunity to clarify points and make their views known.’
      • ‘Cumbria team manager Roger Hackney said he felt the county championship was being downgraded.’
      • ‘Interviews with a number of children and their parents emphasised how successful they felt the event to be.’
      • ‘My policy is to ignore readers who feel it necessary to resort to insults.’
      • ‘McLeish admitted it had been a tough election but felt the contest had delivered him a mandate.’
      • ‘Cooper also feels Ferguson's success has sparked a sharp increase in his detractors.’
      • ‘Everyone I contacted in my highly unscientific poll feels this election was more than a defeat.’
      • ‘I felt the programme focussed a bit too much on what it was like to be a ‘man’ in 2005.’
      • ‘Calderwood felt Aberdeen's performance was decent up until the goal but degenerated thereafter.’
      • ‘He said he felt the incident was a form of discrimination and had left him angry and wanting an explanation.’
      • ‘In their first eight games, they dropped 11 points, and Aidie Moran felt changes had to be made.’
      • ‘He said he felt a change of direction was needed when he took over at the pub, which had stiff competition.’
      • ‘In the end, Lee felt the parties were looking to exploit his difficulties for publicity.’
      • ‘He felt the business market between Edinburgh and Europe was under-served.’
      • ‘He felt the changes in lifestyle and especially in farming in recent years was a factor.’
      • ‘He feels the protest has achieved what it set out to do and is hopeful the government will cut the fuel tax.’
      • ‘But he felt the management change would see the service finally getting back on the right track.’
      • ‘Was his life at the ranch so difficult he felt it necessary to leave?’
      • ‘Former party official Matthew Taylor feels that conference has become ‘ritualistic and pointless’.’
      believe, think, consider it right, consider, fancy, be of the opinion, hold, maintain, judge, deem
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1An act of touching something to examine it.

    • ‘Give him the warren of streets with their hiding places and dolly birds willing to feed and shelter a man for a few quick feels.’
    • ‘I let him have a feel of my hair and kept saying ‘it's a bit of a shock, isn't it?’ (must have been terrifying for a two year old!).’
    • ‘If you have children under five, it's worth having a quick feel inside the video recorder for rogue bananas before angrily demanding a refund.’
    • ‘At 11.25 I wondered if I had any spots that might need squeezing and had a feel round my face.’
    • ‘The girls were dancing about and the men were trying to get a feel as they walked by, and things were getting out of hand.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun] The sense of touch:
      ‘he worked by feel rather than using his eyes’
      • ‘Parts of plants are generally described as ‘succulent’ if they are particularly fleshy, not woody, to the feel and noticeably watery if squashed.’
      • ‘The best way to tell a ripe avocado is by feel.’
      • ‘It was fairly rough to the feel, and looked like it had been made out of crushed granite, cement, and water mixed together.’
      • ‘Their bumpy quality comes from the raised relief so blind people can identify different bills by feel.’
      touch, sense of touch, tactile sense, tactility, feeling, feeling one's way, contact
      View synonyms
  • 2A sensation given by an object or material when touched:

    ‘nylon cloth with a cotton feel’
    • ‘It was a light gray coat made of a material that had the feel of soft fur, but the look of well-made leather.’
    • ‘Polyurethane is extremely light and has the feel of hardened styrene foam.’
    • ‘The fabric is made of 43% polyester and 57% combed cotton, with a cotton-rich feel.’
    texture, surface, finish, grain, nap
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The impression given by something:
      ‘a cafe with a cosmopolitan feel’
      • ‘Besides, it only adds to the gritty, realistic feel Bogdanovich was aiming for.’
      • ‘The first is to give an overall feel of the film.’
      • ‘"Unicorn Dream " is one of these and has the airy feel of a Scandinavian piece.’
      • ‘The stadium's multitude of glass creates a light, airy feel.’
      • ‘But the film's authentic feel is undermined by a series of political compromises.’
      • ‘But what makes this movie so much fun is the authentic retro feel.’
      • ‘Mr Taylor said: " The materials were specially chosen to create an airy feel.’
      • ‘The seats are very close together, and this lends an intimate, crowded feel to the place.’
      • ‘The vocals soar over the mix adding to the epic feel of each track.’
      • ‘Instead the Cat and Fiddle had an almost homely feel about it.’
      • ‘The interior has the homely feel of a comfortable country retreat rather than a royal palace.’
      • ‘The film has a very gritty, realistic feel, again lifting it above being a merely stereotypical genre exercise.’
      atmosphere, ambience, aura, mood, feeling, air, impression, climate, character, overtone, undertone, tenor, spirit, quality, flavour, colour
      View synonyms
  • 3feelsinformal Feelings of heightened emotion:

    ‘fans will undoubtedly get the feels when they see how things haven't changed’
    ‘I cry at everything, even the types of movies you wouldn't expect to give you all the feels’

Phrases

  • feel one's age

    • Become aware that one is growing older and less energetic.

      • ‘He misses her terribly, and for the first time, he is truly feeling his age.’
      • ‘He doesn't feel his age, 61, and loves performing and meeting the fans that still flock to these performances.’
      • ‘I most certainly do not feel my age but we are made to feel that we are well and truly past it.’
  • feel free (to do something)

    • Have no hesitation or shyness (often used as an invitation or for reassurance):

      ‘feel free to say what you like’
      • ‘And if something doesn't work, then feel free to change it, or make something else that does work.’
      • ‘I hope you will feel free to contact me with your ideas and questions.’
      • ‘I'm in New York and you can feel free to email me.’
      • ‘A manager told me that the lifeguards were confused, that it was not club policy, and that I should feel free to stay.’
      • ‘You can only choose one director, but feel free to discuss or criticize others' choices.’
  • feel like (doing) something

    • Be inclined to have or do:

      ‘I feel like celebrating’
      • ‘He felt like a walk and some food.’
      • ‘He tried to joke, but I just did not feel like laughing.’
      • ‘We're supposed to have dance class tonight, but I don't feel like going.’
      • ‘I felt like crying most of Sunday and Monday, but that's normal.’
      • ‘After dinner we felt like a drink.’
      want, would like, wish for, desire, fancy, feel in need of, feel the need for, long for, crave, hanker after, pine for, thirst for, be desperate for, be bent on
      have a yen for, yen for, be dying for
      View synonyms
  • feel one's oats

    • informal Feel lively and energetic:

      ‘she's in the pink and feeling her oats’
      • ‘Both Brewer and Askew understood that the representatives of cities were feeling their oats, and that success in pushing legislative action required behind-the-scenes lobbying.’
      • ‘‘There are lots of older dancers now who are feeling their oats and looking for opportunities to perform,’ he says.’
      • ‘Now that you're feeling your oats and enjoying the fruits of your hard labor, not to mention that shake, we might as well let you in on a little secret: you may not be as strong as you think.’
      • ‘And I don't want them to be satisfied with coming here and, you know, feeling our oats because we won our first game.’
      • ‘There's a strong link between agricultural and political power, and the new farming players are feeling their oats.’
      • ‘‘The little brats are really feeling their oats lately,’ offered Sarah.’
      • ‘I took a few breaths and whispered, ‘He's feeling his oats, Father.’’
      • ‘For one thing, (The Corsair feels his oats) there is a deep discrepancy as to how each of them perceives their ‘relationship.’’
      • ‘Libby is feeling his oats now, but when his wife explains how they have no money coming in and tons of it going out, with no prospect of making any more money for years.’
      • ‘Perhaps the proper term was ‘feeling her oats’ - whatever it was, she felt a lot better than she had in a long damn time.’
    • informal

      see oat
  • feel the pinch

    • Experience hardship, especially financial:

      ‘staff were beginning to feel the pinch as the dispute entered its third week’
      • ‘Farmers living in this community have felt the pinch in recent times with the dispute at the Department of Agriculture greatly affecting their livelihoods and putting them under severe pressure.’
      • ‘The automotive industry, and the housing industry are both beginning to feel the pinch.’
      • ‘Consumers, though they may have felt the pinch from tightening bank lending standards, show little signs of slowing down.’
      • ‘Over the next three years, dozens of exploration companies were forced to close and the Texas banks which supported the industry felt the pinch.’
      • ‘They have all felt the pinch of our economic hard times as a crushing burden they were unfamiliar with until the last two-three years.’
      • ‘The position of the Coptic communities is becoming more insecure and they are the first to feel the pinch of hardship.’
      • ‘Though obviously a different prospect to a large hotel and dependent of passing trade rather than the tour buses or large bookings, many guest houses around Kerry are also beginning to feel the pinch.’
      • ‘While it has not been directly involved in the bursting of the technology bubble, Ramsay admits the company has felt the pinch with more companies chasing the same contracts and smaller margins available on each contract.’
      • ‘Both men are septuagenarians who have felt the pinch of ageism in a business that often dismisses extensive experience and talent as irrelevant.’
      • ‘Landlords and shopkeepers whose premises line the ancient square beneath Holy Trinity Church have all felt the pinch since the market disappeared, and even had to repackage the area as a tourist attraction.’
      suffer hardship, have less money, be short of money, be poor, be impoverished, suffer poverty, suffer adversity
      View synonyms
  • feel the pulse of

  • feel small

  • feel one's way

    • 1Find one's way by touch rather than sight:

      ‘he felt his way back to the stairs’
      • ‘It was a bit tougher going than the way up, feeling his way down.’
      • ‘I stepped towards the door, and felt my way up three steps.’
      • ‘Residents said the white cane he uses to feel his way around reminded them of the staff used by bishops during religious ceremonies.’
      • ‘He placed a hand on either side of the tunnel trying to feel his way down the stairway.’
      • ‘They are climbing in virtual total darkness; they have to feel their way up, by the way of trials.’
      • ‘Katie tip toed through the dark apartment, feeling her way around to make sure she didn't run into any sharp edges.’
      • ‘A mouse uses its whiskers to feel its way around.’
      • ‘Knowing the layout well enough to find the cups in the dark, she felt her way around.’
      • ‘She pushed, desperately feeling her way along it.’
      • ‘She crawled across the hard floor, feeling her way to the other wall.’
      grope, fumble, scrabble, pick, poke, explore
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Proceed cautiously, especially in a situation that is unfamiliar:
        ‘she was new in the job, still feeling her way’
        • ‘Over recent years we have been feeling our way towards more openness.’
        • ‘Its more of a guideline to feel your way into the gaming world.’
        • ‘I am part of a generation which is still feeling its way.’
        • ‘Novelists would have to feel their way towards a new literary process.’
        • ‘At this stage in the game the housemates are still feeling their way, positioning themselves for the long haul.’
        • ‘Like any good show feeling its way through, we are never sure what she is meant to be.’
        • ‘Both countries were feeling their way towards the most effective policies.’
        • ‘You have to have some sort of form in which to feel your way toward God.’
        • ‘It will not be broken by feeling our way into the future with tenative leaders.’
        • ‘You know, being new to the position, I still had to feel my way through.’
  • get a (or the) feel for (or of)

    • Become accustomed to:

      ‘you can explore to get a feel of the place’
      • ‘After 7 laps I had really got the feel of the car and found you could easily go though the chicane at 90-100 mph.’
      • ‘We got a feel for their lifestyle and for what was important to them.’
      • ‘That's the one thing that he's been maybe a little bit slow at, just because he's still getting a feel for it.’
      • ‘This game allows the user to get the feel for being a corporate manager with ties to the Mob.’
      • ‘I just came down here today to take in the buzz and get the feel of the atmosphere and it was great.’
  • have a feel for

    • Have a sensitive appreciation or an intuitive understanding of:

      ‘you have to have a feel for animals’
      • ‘I never tackle a design project until I have a feel for what is needed somewhere.’
      • ‘I don't have a feel for who I think is going to win this election.’
      • ‘As a native of another though larger country town in York, he has a feel for what the community expects.’
      • ‘By talking with and observing enough users, you'll have a feel for which issues are general trends and which are random comments.’
      • ‘While I occasionally have a feel for how a game will work, I often don't, and don't even have the rules completely hashed out.’
      • ‘You've got to have a feel for what's in style and what's in style for the customer.’
      • ‘He has always had a feel for what the audience wants and never knowingly undersells a great event or oversells a poor event.’
      • ‘I really have a feel for what regular people like.’
      • ‘We need people in there who have a feel for football and understand it.’
      • ‘I truly do not have a feel for how widespread that actually is.’
  • make oneself (or one's presence) felt

    • Have a noticeable effect or influence:

      ‘the economic crisis began to make itself felt’
      • ‘The falling dollar, despite its recent bounce-back, has begun to make itself felt: manufacturers report a sharp rise in exports.’
      • ‘First there was the effect of the recession, which began to make itself felt around midsummer.’
      • ‘But he has made his presence felt in the art world in many other ways as well.’
      • ‘The full consequences of the destruction of savings on such a scale and at such a pace have only just begun to make themselves felt.’
      • ‘Already global warming is beginning to make itself felt even in Bangalore.’
      • ‘Changes this profound in the make-up of the heartland communities are unlikely to happen in the political dark, and, indeed, are beginning to make themselves felt in the national debate.’
      • ‘But gradually harsher realities began to make themselves felt.’
      • ‘With her sultry cover-girl looks, she certainly looks as though she possesses the x-factor needed to make her presence felt in the world of pop.’
      • ‘The effects of over-consumption make themselves felt - this is acknowledged in the conclusion, but not in the body of the argument.’
      • ‘The net effect is a vast area poor in resources, an effect that makes itself felt throughout the food web.’

Origin

Old English fēlan, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch voelen and German fühlen.

Pronunciation:

feel

/fiːl/