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put out (the/one's) feelers

To try to learn or discern something tentatively, discreetly, or indirectly. (An allusion to the antennae of insects, used to detect minute changes in the environment.) He's been putting out feelers to see how employees might react to such a policy. Why don't you put out your feelers and see if anyone is interested in buying. A: "I wonder what's going on with Jennifer lately." B: "I'll see if I can put the feelers out the next time I see her."
See also: feeler, out, put

put out (some) feelers (on someone or something)

to arrange to find out about something in an indirect manner. I put out some feelers on Betty to try and find out what is going on. I will put out feelers on what's going on with June.
See also: feeler, out, put

put out feelers

Discreetly try to learn something, as in They put out feelers to see if anyone was interested in buying the company. This idiom alludes to an animal's feelers, such as antennae or tentacles, used to find food. [First half of 1800s]
See also: feeler, out, put

put out feelers

If you put out feelers, you carefully try to find out about other people's feelings or plans, so that you will know what to do next. I will put some feelers out among my community. Spend some time putting feelers out to see if you can find a suitable building. Note: Verbs such as send, have or throw are sometimes used instead of put. He has sent out feelers to three right-wing parties, with a view to freeing himself from the coalition with Labour. Note: Feelers are the long thin sense organs on the heads of insects and certain other creatures such as snails.
See also: feeler, out, put

put out/have ˈfeelers

try to find out what people think about a particular course of action before you do it: They’re putting out feelers about the possibility of building a new sports complex in Leeds.
An insect has feelers (= antennae) on its head, which it uses to feel or sense things.
See also: feeler, have, out, put
References in periodicals archive ?
Controllers who are feelers may be too afraid of negative reactions to bring up bad news.
Feeler has appeared on nationally syndicated television and was asked to testify before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during its public hearing on the Ergonomic Standard.
Feeler is very well qualified to assume the duties of Controller, Treasurer and Chief Accounting Officer," adding "We are excited to add his experience and expertise to the American Ecology team.
According to Broughman, GBI Cincinnati expected resistance to the Feeler machines since it was a relatively new name in the U.
Product/Service/Works Keywords: Feeler (thickness) & taper gauge
Tenders are invited for Supply of Metric feeler gauge, stainless spring steel rule, telescopic mirror, magnetic telescopic pickup tool, scribers & bearing scraper
Product/Service/Works Keywords: Supply of feeler gauge
That was Pompey's first victory since November - and it appears that feelers have already been put out to source a replacement.
I'd love to do Strictly Come Dancing, so I'm putting the feelers out.
We're all aware of Dan Carter and his fearsome All Blacks mates but not many would maybe have heard of the biggest rock 'n' roll band in the country - The Feelers.
National Unity Assembly (NUA) president Dr Shaikh Abdullatif Al Mahmood says his group had been sent feelers by third parties, including an Iran TV channel, for a dialogue
Malkiewich has his feelers out for a job that "can perhaps make use of some of my knowledge and skills and yet can be a new challenge for me.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has put out feelers on the possibility of participating in the August 11 Fox News Debate in Ames.