Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

feel - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb     feel pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefeeling
past tensefelt
past participlefelt
  1. 1
    [linking verb] to be in a particular state as a result of an emotion or a physical feeling

    I was feeling quite cheerful when we set out.

    Are you feeling ill?

    I don’t feel very well.

    How do you feel now?

    I feel such a fool for believing him.

    He never felt at ease with interviewers or photographers.

    feel like:

    When I came back to England, I felt like a stranger.

    feel as if/as though:

    I felt as though someone had just punched me in the stomach.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [transitive] to experience a particular emotion or physical feeling
      feel sadness/happiness/anger/relief etc:

      She felt some sadness when the time came to leave.

      feel guilt/remorse:

      Richard felt no guilt at all for what he had done.

      feel the need to do something:

      Cara felt the need to talk to someone.

      feel (a) pain:

      He felt a sudden pain in his chest.

      feel the cold/heat:

      Children don’t seem to feel the cold as much as adults do.

  2. 2
    [linking verb] [not usually progressive] if something feels nice, good, strange etc, it gives you this feeling

    It felt strange being on my own again.

    It certainly felt good to be back home.

    feel like/as if/as though:

    The clock said it was only eight o’clock but it felt like midnight.

    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    [transitive] to touch something with your hand so that you can discover what it is like

    She felt the child’s forehead to see if he was feverish.

    Feel this scarf – it’s incredibly soft!

    1. a.
      [linking verb] [not usually progressive] if something feels soft, hard etc, that is what it is like when you touch it

      Your hair feels so soft.

      feel like:

      The table felt like plastic, not wood.

      Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [transitive] [not usually progressive] to notice something that is touching you or something that is happening to your body

    Can you feel the draught coming from under the door?

    I could feel his hot breath on my neck.

    feel someone/something do something:

    I suddenly felt something brush against my arm.

    feel someone/something doing something:

    I felt him pulling against me.

    feel yourself do/doing something:

    Donna felt herself dozing and sat upright.

    1. a.
      to notice something that you know is there but cannot see, hear, touch, or smell

      Sarah could feel the man’s presence before she saw him.

      feel (that):

      I felt I was being watched.

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] [not usually progressive] to have a particular way of thinking about something, especially one that depends on your emotions rather than on facts or evidence
    feel (that):

    I feel that more should be done to help young people.

    feel about:

    I don’t know how Mary feels about eating meat.

    feel strongly about something:

    I know that Sally feels quite strongly about this issue.

    feel something (to be) something:

    We felt it an appropriate gesture in the circumstances.

    feel it appropriate/necessary/important etc to do something:

    He always felt it necessary to explain his actions.

  6. 6
    [transitive] to be affected by something
    feel the effects/repercussions/benefits etc of something:

    People should feel the benefits of the tax cuts by next month.

    feel someone’s death:

    I’m sure we all feel his death very keenly.

  7. 7
    [intransitive] to try to find something with your hands, especially because you cannot see clearly
    feel around/about:

    I felt around on the ground but couldn’t find the torch.

    feel (around/about) for someone/something:

    Adam felt in the pocket of his shorts for the key.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play