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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To sympathize or empathize with someone: I feel for the employees that were laid off.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.