American English

Definition of feel verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they feel
    he / she / it feels
    past simple felt
    -ing form feeling
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    well/sick/happy/sad, etc.
  1. 1linking verb [transitive] to experience a particular feeling or emotion + adj. The heat made him feel faint. She sounded more confident than she felt. I was feeling guilty. You'll feel better after a good night's sleep. She felt betrayed. I feel sorry for him. + adv./prep. How are you feeling today? I know exactly how you feel (= I feel sympathy for you). feel something He seemed to feel no remorse at all. feel like something I felt like a complete idiot.
  2. be/become aware
  3. 2[transitive] (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to notice or be aware of something because it is touching you or having a physical effect on you synonym sense feel something I could feel the warm sun on my back. She could not feel her legs. I can't feel his pulse. He felt a hand on his shoulder. feel somebody/something/yourself doing something He felt a hand touching his shoulder. She could feel herself blushing. He felt the sweat running down his face. feel somebody/something/yourself do something I felt something crawl up my arm. We felt the ground give way under our feet.
  4. 3[transitive] (not usually used in the progressive tenses) feel something to become aware of something even though you cannot see it, hear it, etc. synonym sense Can you feel the tension in this room?
  5. give impression
  6. 4linking verb (not used in the progressive tenses) to give you a particular feeling or impression + adj. It felt strange to be back in my old school. My mouth felt completely dry. feel like something The interview only took ten minutes, but it felt like hours. It feels like rain (= seems likely to rain). feel as if/though… Her head felt as if it would burst. It felt as though he had run a marathon. How does it feel to be alone all day? In spoken English people often use like instead of as if or as though in this meaning:He felt like he'd run a marathon.
  7. touch
  8. 5linking verb (not used in the progressive tenses) to have a particular physical quality that you become aware of by touching + adj. The water feels warm. Its skin feels really smooth. feel like something This wallet feels like leather.
  9. 6[transitive] to deliberately move your fingers over something in order to find out what it is like feel something Can you feel the bump on my head? Try to tell what this is just by feeling it. feel how, what, etc… Feel how rough this is.
  10. think/believe
  11. 7[transitive, intransitive] (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to think or believe that something is the case; to have a particular opinion or attitude feel (that)… We all felt (that) we had been cheated. I felt (that) I had to apologize. I feel I could continue playing until I am 35. feel it to be something She felt it to be her duty to tell the police. feel it + noun She felt it her duty to tell the police. feel it + adj. I felt it advisable to do nothing. (+ adv./prep.) This is something I feel strongly about. This decision is,I feel, a huge mistake. Thesaurusthinkbelieve feel be under the impressionThese words all mean to have an idea that something is true or possible or to have a particular opinion about someone or something.think to have an idea that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about someone or something:Do you think (that) they'll come? What do you think about Matt's new girlfriend?believe to have an idea that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about someone or something:Police believe (that) the man may be armed.think or believe?When you are expressing an idea that you have or that someone has of what is true or possible, believe is more formal than think. It is used especially for talking about ideas that other people have;think is used more often for talking about your own ideas:Police believe… I think…When you are expressing an opinion, believe is stronger than think and is used especially for matters of principle;think is used more for practical matters or matters of personal taste.feel to have a particular opinion about something that has happened or about what you/someone ought to do:We all felt (that) we had been under the impression that… to have an idea that something is true:I was under the impression that the work had already been completed.Patterns to think/believe/feel/be under the impression that… It is thought/believed/felt >that…> to be thought/believed/felt >to be>something to think/believe/feel something about somebody/something to sincerely/honestly/seriously/mistakenly think/believe/feel
  12. be strongly affected
  13. 8[transitive] feel something to experience the effects or results of something, often strongly He feels the cold a lot. Cathy was really feeling the heat. She felt her mother's death very deeply. The effects of the recession are being felt everywhere. We all felt the force of her arguments.
  14. search with hands
  15. 9[intransitive] feel (in something/around, etc.) (for something) to search for something with your hands, feet, etc. He felt in his pockets for some money. I had to feel around in the dark for the light switch.
  16. Idioms
    be/feel flattered
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    to be pleased because someone has made you feel important or special He was flattered by her attention. I felt flattered at being asked to give a lecture. She was flattered to hear that he had been asking about her. I suppose we should be flattered that he agreed to come at all.
    be/feel honored (to do something)
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    to feel proud and happy I was honored to have been mentioned in his speech. “Would you be my best man?” “I'd be honored.”
    be/feel like jelly, turn to jelly
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    (of legs or knees) to feel weak because you are nervous
    feel your age
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    to realize that you are getting old, especially compared with people you are with who are younger than you
    feel your ears burning
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    to think or imagine that other people are talking about you
    feel free (to do something) (informal)
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    used to tell someone that they are allowed to do something Feel free to ask questions if you don't understand. “Can I use your phone?” “Feel free.”
    to feel happy, confident, etc. It makes me feel good to know my work is appreciated.
    feel (it) in your bones (that…)
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    to be certain about something even though you do not have any direct proof and cannot explain why you are certain I know I'm going to fail this exam—I can feel it in my bones.
    feel like something/like doing something
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     to want to have or do something I feel like a drink. We all felt like celebrating. He felt like bursting into tears. We'll go for a walk if you feel like it.
    feel the pinch (informal)
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    to not have enough money Lots of people who have lost their jobs are starting to feel the pinch.
    feel sick to your stomach
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    to feel as though you will vomit soon
      feel your way
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    1. 1to move along carefully, for example when it is dark, by touching walls, objects, etc.
    2. 2to be careful about how you do things, usually because you are in a situation that you are not familiar with She was new to the job, still feeling her way.
    (feel) honor-bound to do something (formal)
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    to feel that you must do something because of your sense of moral duty She felt honor-bound to attend as she had promised to. compare duty-bound
    look/feel like death warmed over (informal)
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    to look or feel very sick or tired
    look/feel like a million dollars/bucks (informal)
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    to look/feel extremely good Wow, you look like a million dollars.
    look/feel small
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    to look or feel stupid, weak, ashamed, etc. There's no need to make me look small in front of all these people. I felt really small when I realized how much time he'd spent on it.
    make your presence felt
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    to do something to make people very aware of the fact that you are there; to have a strong influence on a group of people or a situation She's only been here a couple of weeks but she is already making her presence felt.
    not feel yourself
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    to not feel healthy and well I'm not quite feeling myself today.
    Phrasal Verbsfeel for somebodyfeel somebodyupfeel up to something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: feel