• WordNet 3.6
    • n feeler one of a pair of mobile appendages on the head of e.g. insects and crustaceans; typically sensitive to touch and taste
    • n feeler slender tactile process on the jaws of a fish
    • n feeler sensitivity similar to that of a receptor organ "he had a special antenna for public relations"
    • n feeler a tentative suggestion designed to elicit the reactions of others "she rejected his advances"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Feeler Anything, as a proposal, observation, etc., put forth or thrown out in order to ascertain the views of others; something tentative.
    • Feeler (Zoöl) One of the sense organs or certain animals (as insects), which are used in testing objects by touch and in searching for food; an antenna; a palp. "Insects . . . perpetually feeling and searching before them with their feelers or antennæ."
    • Feeler One who, or that which, feels.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n feeler One who or that which feels.
    • n feeler Specifically Any special organ of touch of an animal; a tactile part. A common name applied to the antennæ of insects and crustaceans, and to the palpi of insects and spiders. These organs probably serve as organs of touch as well as for other purposes. See antenna and palpus
    • n feeler The representation on an artificial fly of an antenna of an insect. Feelers are folded back, extending above and sometimes beyond the wings.
    • n feeler Any indirect act, device, stratagem, or plan resorted to for the purpose of finding out something which cannot be ascertained directly, especially the designs, opinions, or sentiments of others.
    • n feeler Nautical, the first onset of a storm, followed by a short calm.
    • n feeler A thickness-gage.
    • n feeler A thin piece of metal for determining the space or play left in a bearing or for determining the distance between the two plates in a riveted joint.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Feeler a remark cautiously dropped, or any indirect stratagem, to sound the opinions of others:
    • ns Feeler (pl.) jointed fibres in the heads of insects, &c., possessed of a delicate sense of touch, termed antennæ
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. félan, to feel; Ger. fühlen; prob. akin to L. palpāre, to quiver.


In literature:

But the feelers that the neighbours sent out towards Margret met with no solid assurance.
"An Isle in the Water" by Katharine Tynan
Meanwhile Joyce cultivated the doctor with innocent feelers of friendship while he administered afternoon tea.
"Banked Fires" by E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi
I presume that these spines serve as feelers.
"A Monograph on the Sub-class Cirripedia (Volume 1 of 2)" by Charles Darwin
He sent a painful probing feeler out into space, to the spot where Nagor and the others waited for his report.
"The Very Secret Agent" by Mari Wolf
The face (clypeus) is broad, extending on either side in front of the insertion of the feelers.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 6" by Various
New types appeared, some with feelers, some that flew.
"Second Variety" by Philip Kindred Dick
There in her cave Scylla sits, fishing with her feelers for dolphins and other great fish, and for men, if any men sail by that way.
"Tales of Troy and Greece" by Andrew Lang
There are, therefore, fifty pustules to each feeler, and the creature possesses in the whole four hundred.
"Toilers of the Sea" by Victor Hugo
It was funny to see them wipe their bulging eyes with their feelers and roll them about on all sides.
"Lulu's Library, Volume II" by Louisa M. Alcott
At last the feelers drew back, and the orbs lifted toward the rafters.
"The Buttoned Sky" by Geoff St. Reynard
Then we'll know he's a carp-fish, 'cause the perches and trouts haven't got feelers.
"Just So Stories" by Rudyard Kipling
The initial dispatch of Friday was intended simply as a feeler.
"The Crime of the Century" by Henry M. Hunt
A pair of feelers rose from the head.
"Earth and Sky Every Child Should Know" by Julia Ellen Rogers
Using his hands as groping feelers he staggered around two corners of the buildings until his fingers closed about a door knob.
"Monsoons of Death" by Gerald Vance
Half animal, they are, and the feelers break loose and crawl by themselves.
"Astounding Stories, August, 1931" by Various
Just as a feeler, Al.
"Making Money" by Owen Johnson
The Stamp Act was passed as a feeler.
"Sages and Heroes of the American Revolution" by L. Carroll Judson
I threw out one or two "feelers" on the subject, but no oyster could be more secretive than Adolph Tiel when he chose.
"The Spy in Black" by J. Storer Clouston
To these feelers the popular name is due.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 3" by Various
A second ramus, the "exopodite," often is also retained in the form of a palp or feeler.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 6" by Various

In poetry:

But strain to reach it; ay, with wrestlings stout
And hopes that even in the dark will grow
(Like plants in dungeons, reaching feelers out),
And ploddings wary and slow.
"Honours -- Part II." by Jean Ingelow
And many times she turned amidst his beard
Her face, as often as the night-owl screeched,
And all that was the night around them reached
Its feelers manifold of longing fears.
"Abishag" by Rainer Maria Rilke

In news:

Warbles are the larvae of the bot , cutereba, which is a very large fly with feelers and utterly disgusting.
There is a focusing procedure that is very easy to do using a depth/feeler gauge that you use manually while moving the table with the laser's Job panel located at the top corner of the cabinet.
This is a combination of fully automatic feeler arm extensometers , with dual averaging axial and transverse strain extensometer .
So, are you a thinker or a feeler .
REVIEWS Toadies, ' Feeler .
Methods Machine Tools (Sudbury, Massachusetts) has announced that it is now the exclusive North American importer of Fair Friend Group's (FFG) Feeler line of machine tools.
Methods Named Exclusive North American Importer of Feeler Machine Tools.
Calhoun even claimed he turned down a request, or maybe it was a feeler, from the Yankees to throw out a ball after Connecticut won the title two weeks ago.
The 20-song "feeler"-good musical by Joan Cushing, directed by Bob Hess, adapts three eco-conscious children's books by Doreen Cronin.
Feelers, nothing more than feelers tentacled snakes born.
The 3-foot-long, lobe-winged, shrimp-like creature came equipped with two barbed feelers and an armor-plated mouth — parts paleobiologists once thought were ideal for finding and crunching tasty trilobites.
The communications directorate of the US Census Bureau put out a feeler May 25 to firms as it plans future PR and communications efforts.
The EH-320 horizontal machining center from Feeler features a double-wall, rib-reinforced frame on a box-in-box structural design for increased stability and efficiency.
Liberty Media has started sending out feelers to potential buyers for its premium channel Starz.
Liberty Media has started sending out feelers to potential buyers for its premium channel Starz.