Definition of feeler in US English:



  • 1An animal organ such as an antenna or palp that is used for testing things by touch or for searching for food.

    • ‘If nothing else, those with purple feelers are less likely to want to be out in freezing weather, to pick a trivial example.’
    • ‘These things now have legs, feelers, and everything.’
    • ‘Just one little insect with feelers can put paid to that…’
    • ‘Then the wasps fly back to the nest and plaster the pulp in place, spreading the material carefully with their jaws, stopping every few minutes to test the layer with their feelers to make sure it's the right thickness.’
    • ‘But we managed to find a pair of feelers, which protruded from a hole.’
    • ‘And I saw a bee the size of my thumb in the nest, waving feelers at me angrily.’
    • ‘The tip of the snout is expanded into a naked pink disc which supports 22 finger-like tentacles or feelers which give this creature its name.’
    • ‘Like all lobsters, he has ten legs and two claws (the right slightly larger than the left), and two pairs of antennae or feelers.’
    • ‘I watched its mouthpart feelers rapidly go to work on the succour and it was quickly rejuvenated.’
    • ‘Insects have optimized this principle: With long feelers making circular movements they investigate their surroundings and are able to negotiate even extremely difficult terrain.’
    antenna, tentacle, horn
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    1. 1.1 A tentative proposal intended to ascertain someone's attitude or opinion.
      ‘he put out feelers about seeking the party nomination’
      • ‘Already in 1987 Austria had put out feelers to Moscow to see what its reaction would be if Austria was to apply to join the European Community.’
      • ‘It is understood that the Italian has already put out feelers about the possibility of securing a deal with another club.’
      • ‘‘I'll put out the usual feelers,’ John replied, turning to leave.’
      • ‘In October 2001, tentative feelers were sent out to Japan, seeking negotiations.’
      • ‘It's one thing to examine the options, indulge in a bit of wishful thinking, put out a few feelers and make a few offers; it is another to pursue a determined course of action to achieve a concrete result.’
      • ‘McGrath put out feelers that he was looking for a career change.’
      • ‘If you are searching for work, put out feelers in seemingly unlikely directions.’
      • ‘I've put out feelers to get someone right inside the Cunningham community coalition to explain to us how the miracle happened.’
      • ‘I had sort of tentatively put feelers out in that direction - I think it is something that, done carefully, could help, as long as I'm dealing with my issues on an emotional level also.’
      • ‘He has put out feelers regarding a switch to American citizenship, a move that would let him own U.S. broadcast properties.’
      • ‘And Todd has already put out feelers for out-of-contract players.’
      • ‘We are trying to raise the money for the game and we have already sent out feelers to the corporate world to come to our aid.’
      • ‘One of the things it says is that several players have already put out feelers as they explore the chances of making a quick exit from the troubled club.’
      tentative enquiry, tentative proposal, tentative suggestion
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