put out feelers

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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: out, put

put out feelers

to try to discover what people think about something that you might do She was thinking of running for mayor, so she started putting out feelers.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of feelers (the two thin parts attached to an insect's head, used to touch things)
See also: out, put

put out feelers

to try to discover what people think about something that you might do
Usage notes: An insect's feelers are the two long stick parts on its head which it uses to touch things and discover what is around it.
I've been putting out a few feelers and it seems that most people are against changing the way we elect the committee.
See also: 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: 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.