feel / fēl/ • v. (past felt / felt/ ) [tr.] 1. be aware of (a person or object) through touching or being touched: she felt someone touch her shoulder. ∎ be aware of (something happening) through physical sensation: she felt the ground give way beneath her. ∎ examine or search by touch: he felt her hair [intr.] he felt around for the matches. ∎ [intr.] be capable of sensation. ∎ [intr.] give a sensation of a particular physical quality when touched: the wool feels soft. ∎ (feel one's way) find one's way by touch rather than sight: she plunged into the dark tunnel, feeling her way along the walls. ∎ (feel one's way) fig. act cautiously, esp. in an area with which one is unfamiliar: she was new in the job, still feeling her way. ∎ (feel something out) inf. investigate something cautiously: they want to feel out the situation. 2. experience (an emotion or sensation): I felt a sense of excitement [intr.] I felt angry and humiliated. ∎ [intr.] consider oneself to be in a particular state or exhibiting particular qualities: he doesn't feel obliged to visit every weekend. ∎ (feel up to) have the strength and energy to do or deal with: she didn't feel up to driving. ∎ (feel oneself) be healthy and well: Ruth was not quite feeling herself. ∎ be emotionally affected by: he didn't feel the loss of his mother so keenly. ∎ [intr.] have a specified reaction or attitude, esp. an emotional one, toward something: we feel very strongly about freedom of expression. ∎ (feel for) have compassion for: poor woman—I feel for her. 3. have a belief or impression, esp. without an identifiable reason: she felt that the woman positively disliked her. ∎ hold an opinion: I felt I could make a useful contribution. • n. [usu. in sing.] 1. an act of touching something to examine it. ∎ the sense of touch: he worked by feel rather than using his eyes. 2. a sensation given by an object or material when touched: nylon cloth with a cotton feel. ∎ the impression given by something: the restaurant has a modern bistro feel. PHRASES: 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. feel like (doing) something be inclined to have or do: I feel like celebrating. get a (or the) feel for (or of) familiarize oneself with: you can explore to get a feel of the place. have a feel for have a sensitive appreciation or an intuitive understanding of: you have to have a feel for animals. make oneself (or one's presence) felt make people keenly aware of one; have a noticeable effect: the economic crisis began to make itself felt.