feel·ing | \ ˈfē-liŋ \

Definition of feeling 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the one of the basic physical senses of which the skin contains the chief end organs and of which the sensations of touch and temperature are characteristic : touch

(2) : a sensation experienced through this sense

b : generalized bodily consciousness or sensation

c : appreciative or responsive awareness or recognition experience a feeling of safety

2a : an emotional state or reaction a kindly feeling toward the boy

b feelings plural : susceptibility to impression : sensitivity the remark hurt her feelings

3a : the undifferentiated background of one's awareness considered apart from any identifiable sensation, perception, or thought

b : the overall quality of one's awareness

c : conscious recognition : sense

4a : often unreasoned opinion or belief : sentiment What are your feelings about this subject?

b : presentiment I have a feeling she's not going to like this.

5 : capacity to respond emotionally especially with the higher emotions found out how much feeling his mother really had

6 : the character ascribed to something : atmosphere The place had the feeling of a haunted house.

7a : the quality of a work of art that conveys the emotion of the artist the feeling of the outdoors has been realized with sky-blue ceiling and natural colorsPlaythings

b : sympathetic aesthetic response a person of fine feeling



Definition of feeling (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : sentient, sensitive

b : easily moved emotionally

2 obsolete : deeply felt

3 : expressing emotion or sensitivity

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Other words from feeling


feelingly \ˈfē-liŋ-lē \ adverb
feelingness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for feeling


feeling, emotion, affection, sentiment, passion mean a subjective response to a person, thing, or situation. feeling denotes any partly mental, partly physical response marked by pleasure, pain, attraction, or repulsion; it may suggest the mere existence of a response but imply nothing about the nature or intensity of it. the feelings that once moved me are gone emotion carries a strong implication of excitement or agitation but, like feeling, encompasses both positive and negative responses. the drama portrays the emotions of adolescence affection applies to feelings that are also inclinations or likings. a memoir of childhood filled with affection for her family sentiment often implies an emotion inspired by an idea. her feminist sentiments are well known passion suggests a very powerful or controlling emotion. revenge became his ruling passion

Examples of feeling in a Sentence


I noticed tingling feelings in my fingers. She had a queasy feeling in her stomach. I had the feeling of something crawling across my foot. We enjoyed the feeling of walking barefoot in the sand. He had no feeling in his right leg. He's been troubled by feelings of guilt. There's no point in trying to hide your feelings. He spoke with feeling about the injustice he had seen. Have you no feeling for the plight of the homeless? I can see that you have strong feelings about this subject.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jonathan is doing very well at his current program, and has made great gains in following directions and communicating his thoughts and feelings. BostonGlobe.com, "Jonathan and Violette both love playing outside," 14 July 2018 The new, dewier formula sinks in quickly for a lasting silky feeling. The Cut, "How to Get the Most Out of Your Serum," 13 July 2018 Let this feeling liberate you by reminding you that everything that seems temporary houses something more enduring beneath it. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes July 16-22," 13 July 2018 However, a recent study has shown that there is a lot more to it than just a feeling. SI.com, "Serie A Legend Discovers Why He Always Felt So at Home in Italy," 13 July 2018 That has contributed to a feeling that the economy has tilted towards capital and away from labour. The Economist, "Worker shortages could heal America’s economy," 12 July 2018 The witty, biting repartee among the ladies begins almost immediately, setting the tone for 18 rounds of non-stop put downs, hurt feelings, revelations and reconciliations. Mitchel Benson, sacbee, "‘Ladies Foursome’ maintains remarkable chemistry in return to B Street Theatre," 10 July 2018 In the study’s conclusion, Janus wrote: The early lives of all the subjects were marked by suffering, isolation, and feelings of deprivation. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "Learning to Be Funny," 9 July 2018 Instead, a soaking tub is perched just off to the side atop a teak-style platform, within view of the retractable door, to give a feeling of soaking outside. Lisa Van Loo, azcentral, "Phoenix couple puts 'blood, sweat and tears' into historic 1925 Coronado renovation," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'feeling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of feeling


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for feeling

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for feeling

The first known use of feeling was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for feeling



English Language Learners Definition of feeling

: an awareness by your body of something in it or on it

: an emotional state or reaction

: thoughts of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.


feel·ing | \ ˈfē-liŋ \

Kids Definition of feeling

1 : the sense by which a person knows whether things are hard or soft, hot or cold, heavy or light

2 : a sensation of temperature or pressure a feeling of cold a feeling of pain

3 : a state of mind a feeling of joy

4 feelings plural : the state of a person's emotions … she did not want her father's feelings hurt. —Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby

5 : an opinion, belief, or expectation I have the feeling we've met before.


feel·ing | \ ˈfē-liŋ \

Medical Definition of feeling 

1a : the one of the basic physical senses of which the skin contains the chief end organs and of which the sensations of touch and temperature are characteristic : touch

b : a sensation experienced through this sense

2 : an emotional state or reaction guilt feelings

3 : the overall quality of one's awareness especially as measured along a pleasantness-unpleasantness continuum

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Comments on feeling

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