feel for(redirected from a feel for)
A better sense of (a situation or how to do something); a greater knowledge or experience in (something). Once I got a feel for the company's daily operations, I felt more comfortable taking on the management role.
*feel for something
a natural or learned ability to do something. (*Typically: get ~; have ~.) I will do better with this work as soon as I get a feel for it. He doesn't have a feel for this kind of careful work.
feel for someone
to feel the emotional pain that someone else is feeling; to empathize or sympathize with someone. I really feel for you. I'm so sorry it turned out this way. Fred felt for Dave, but there was nothing he could do for him.
1. Grope, reach for with one's hands, as in It was pitch dark, and I felt for the doorknob. [Early 1700s]
2. feel for someone. Sympathize with or feel sorry for someone, as in Tom was so upset that I felt for him. This usage was put as feel with by Shakespeare: "It resounds as if it felt with Scotland" ( Macbeth, 4:3). Both senses of feel for are present in the somewhat sarcastic I feel for you but I can't quite reach you, meaning "Too bad, but I don't really feel sorry for you."
To sympathize or empathize with someone: I feel for the employees that were laid off.