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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English felen, from Old English fēlan ‎(to feel, perceive, touch), from Proto-Germanic *fōlijaną ‎(to taste, feel), from Proto-Indo-European *pelem-, *pal- ‎(to swing, shake). Cognate with Scots fele ‎(to feel), West Frisian fiele ‎(to sense, feel), Dutch voelen ‎(to feel), Low German fölen, föhlen ‎(to feel), German fühlen ‎(to feel), Danish føle ‎(to feel), and through Indo-European, with Latin palpō ‎(touch, feel, caress, pat), Ancient Greek πάλλω ‎(pállō, swing, shake, shake loose).


feel ‎(third-person singular simple present feels, present participle feeling, simple past and past participle felt)

  1. (heading) To use the sense of touch.
    1. (transitive, copulative) To become aware of through the skin; to use the sense of touch on.
      You can feel a heartbeat if you put your fingers on your breast.
      I felt hot and miserable all night.
    2. (transitive) To find one's way (literally or figuratively) by touching or using cautious movements.
      I felt my way through the darkened room.
      I felt my way cautiously through the dangerous business maneuver.
    3. (intransitive) To receive information by touch or by any neurons other than those responsible for sight, smell, taste, or hearing.
    4. (intransitive) To search by sense of touch.
      He felt for the light switch in the dark.
  2. (heading) To sense or think emotionally or judgmentally.
    1. (transitive) To experience an emotion or other mental state about.
      I can feel the sadness in his poems.
      • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
        Teach me to feel another's woe.
      • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
        Captain Edward Carlisle, soldier as he was, martinet as he was, felt a curious sensation of helplessness seize upon him as he met her steady gaze, her alluring smile ; he could not tell what this prisoner might do.
      • 2013 August 10, Lexington, “Keeping the mighty honest”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
        British journalists shun complete respectability, feeling a duty to be ready to savage the mighty, or rummage through their bins. Elsewhere in Europe, government contracts and subsidies ensure that press barons will only defy the mighty so far.
    2. (transitive) To think, believe, or have an impression concerning.
      I feel that we need to try harder.
      • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
        Garlands [] which I feel / I am not worthy yet to wear.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, The China Governess[1]:
        When Timothy and Julia hurried up the staircase to the bedroom floor, where a considerable commotion was taking place, Tim took Barry Leach with him. He had him gripped firmly by the arm, since he felt it was not safe to let him loose, and he had no immediate idea what to do with him.
    3. (intransitive, copulative) To experience an emotion or other mental state.
      He obviously feels strongly about it.
      She felt even more upset when she heard the details.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
        Then we relapsed into a discomfited silence, and wished we were anywhere else. But Miss Thorn relieved the situation by laughing aloud, and with such a hearty enjoyment that instead of getting angry and more mortified we began to laugh ourselves, and instantly felt better.
    4. (intransitive) To sympathise; to have the sensibilities moved or affected.
      I feel for you and your plight.
  3. (transitive) To be or become aware of.
  4. (transitive) To experience the consequences of.
    Feel my wrath!
  5. (copulative) To seem (through touch or otherwise).
    It looks like wood, but it feels more like plastic.
    This is supposed to be a party, but it feels more like a funeral!
  6. (transitive, US, slang) To understand.
    I don't want you back here, ya feel me?
Usage notesEdit
  • Most prescriptive grammarians prefer "I feel bad" to "I feel badly", but "I feel badly" is widely used in US English.
  • Badly is sometimes used after feel in its copulative sense where one might expect an adjective, ie, bad.
  • Some users use badly when referring to an emotional state, and bad when referring to a more physical or medical state.
  • Adjectives to which "feel" is often applied as a copula: free, cold, cool, warm, hot, young, old, good, great, fine, happy, glad, satisfied, excited, bad, depressed, unhappy, sad, blue, sorry, smart, stupid, loved, appreciated, accepted, rejected, lonely, isolated, insulted, offended, slighted, cheated, shy, refreshed, tired, exhausted, calm, relaxed, angry, annoyed, frustrated, anxious, worried, jealous, proud, confident, safe, grateful, uncomfortable, unsafe, insecure, desperate, guilty, ashamed, disappointed, dirty, odd, strange, ill, sick.
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


feel ‎(plural feels)

  1. A quality of an object experienced by touch.
    Bark has a rough feel.
  2. A vague mental impression.
    You should get a feel of the area before moving in.
  3. An act of fondling.
    She gave me a quick feel to show that she loves me.
  4. A vague understanding.
    I'm getting a feel for what you mean.
  5. An intuitive ability.
    She has a feel for music.
  6. Alternative form of feeling.
    I know that feel.
Derived termsEdit


Most common English words before 1923: hour · air · reason · #369: feel · behind · sn · really


Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English feele, fele, feole, from Old English fela, feala, feolo ‎(much, many), from Proto-Germanic *felu ‎(very, much), from Proto-Indo-European *pélu- ‎(many). Cognate with Scots fele ‎(much, many, great), Dutch veel ‎(much, many), German viel ‎(much, many), Latin plūs ‎(more), Ancient Greek πολύς ‎(polús, many). Related to full.



  1. (dialectal or obsolete) Alternative form of fele


feel ‎(not comparable)

  1. Alternative form of fele


feel ‎(not comparable)

  1. Alternative form of fele

North FrisianEdit


From Old Frisian fēla.



  1. (Föhr-Amrum) to feel




feel ‎(plural feeloj)

  1. mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
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