- 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
- b 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 : presentiment
- 5: capacity to respond emotionally especially with the higher emotions
- 6: the character ascribed to something : atmosphere
- 7a : the quality of a work of art that conveys the emotion of the artist
Feeling is the nominalization of "to feel".
The word was first used in the English language to describe the physical sensation of touch through either experience or perception. The word is also used to describe experiences, other than the physical sensation of touch, such as "a feeling of warmth". In psychology, the word is usually reserved for the conscious subjective experience of emotion. Phenomenology and heterophenomenology are philosophical approaches that provide some basis for knowledge of feelings. Many schools of psychotherapy depend on the therapist achieving some kind of understanding of the client's feelings, for which methodologies exist. Some theories of interpersonal relationships also have a role for shared feelings or understanding of another person's feelings.
Perception of the physical world does not necessarily result in a universal reaction among receivers (see emotions), but varies depending on one's tendency to handle the situation, how the situation relates to the receiver's past experiences, and any number of other factors. Feelings are also known as a state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments or desires.