feel around (for someone or something)
1. To grope around for something, especially in the dark or a similar situation where one's vision is limited. I had to feel around for the light switch for a minute before I was able to find it. The frightened child felt around for her parents in the pitch-black tent. I'm feeling around under the couch, but I don't think your phone is down here, Mom.
2. To attempt to gain knowledge, insight, or information (about someone or something), especially in uncertain, indirect, or surreptitious ways. It's clear that the company is feeling around for an excuse to get them off the hook for the disaster. We're still feeling around for people who might be interested in investing in our new product. I've spent a lot of time feeling around since the accident, but there are still no clear answers about what happened.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
feel around (for someone or something)and feel about (for someone or something)
to try to find someone or something by feel [rather than sight]. He felt around for the soap in the bathtub. She felt about for the dog at the foot of the bed, but it wasn't there. Gerald felt about for a pencil.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
To explore something by the sense of touch, especially when seeking an item: If you feel around in the sock drawer, you'll probably find your missing earrings.
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.