Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


verb \ˈfēl\

Simple Definition of feel

  • : to be aware of (something that affects you physically, such as pain, heat, or an object touching your body)

  • : to touch (something) with your fingers to see what it is like

  • : to find (something) by touching with your fingers

Full Definition of feel

felt play \ˈfelt\ feel·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to handle or touch in order to examine, test, or explore some quality b :  to perceive by a physical sensation coming from discrete end organs (as of the skin or muscles)

  3. 2 a :  to undergo passive experience of b :  to have one's sensibilities markedly affected by

  4. 3 :  to ascertain by cautious trial —usually used with out

  5. 4 a :  to be aware of by instinct or inference b :  believe, think <say what you really feel>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 a :  to receive or be able to receive a tactile sensation b :  to search for something by using the sense of touch

  8. 2 a :  to be conscious of an inward impression, state of mind, or physical condition b :  to have a marked sentiment or opinion <feels strongly about it>

  9. 3 :  seem <it feels like spring today>

  10. 4 :  to have sympathy or pity <I feel for you>

feel like
  1. :  to have an inclination for <feel like a walk?>

Examples of feel

  1. He felt a sudden pain in his leg.

  2. I could feel the warmth of the sun.

  3. I felt someone tap my shoulder.

  4. Do you feel a draft?

  5. She felt the fabric to see if it was wool.

  6. Your ribs are bruised, but I don't feel any broken bones.

Origin of feel

Middle English felen, from Old English fēlan; akin to Old High German fuolen to feel, Latin palpare to caress

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of feel

  • : the quality of a thing that is experienced by touching it

  • : a particular quality

  • : an understanding of something

Full Definition of feel

  1. 1 :  sensation, feeling

  2. 2 :  the sense of touch

  3. 3 a :  the quality of a thing as imparted through or as if through touch b :  typical or peculiar quality or atmosphere; also :  an awareness of such a quality or atmosphere

  4. 4 :  intuitive knowledge or ability

Examples of feel

  1. the feel of old leather

  2. Although the table is brand-new, it has the look and feel of an antique.

  3. He liked the feel of the sun on his face.

13th Century

First Known Use of feel

13th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up feel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.