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

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 The film also explores the nature of truth and our perceptions of reality, capturing a feeling of cinema verite in its seemingly casual structure, gaps in the narrative, temporal leaps and rough sound and image. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Bikini Moon': Film Review | Shanghai 2018," 27 June 2018 For many people, that shift is marked by feelings of steady energy and well-being, along with a satiety that helps with weight loss. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "I Hacked My Body So You Don't Have To," 25 June 2018 Civility benefits communities by reducing feelings of insult, thereby reducing stress, anger, and the potential for violence, Harford County government noted in news release. Aegis Staff Report, The Aegis, "Harford County is launching a local Choose Civility campaign," 21 June 2018 There is a unity of feeling, a passion for Croatia. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Joy of Chicago's Croatians cresting as World Cup final with France approaches," 13 July 2018 Are there any fashion trends or ideas in fashion you’re feeling really inspired by? Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Sarah Paulson Is the Ultimate Prada Fan—She Proves It with a Star Turn in the Brand’s New Film," 13 July 2018 Come to think of it, the scale of the horses from up in the sky, and the warm, fuzzy feeling of being there, was probably comparable. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "The Great American Road Trip Goes Luxe—For Better or Worse," 12 July 2018 Southgate's side have galvanised the national feeling towards the team, and got the nation invested in international football in a way that hasn't happened in a long time. SI.com, "Why England's World Cup Campaign Wasn't the Heroic Overachievment the Hype Would Have You Believe," 12 July 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

9 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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