feel around (for someone or something)

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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. 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.
See also: around, feel, someone
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.
See also: around, feel
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

feel around

v.
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.
See also: around, feel
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Blinded by smoke Paul Caisley, 30, manager at Grainger Games in the Metrocentre, who lives next door to Mr Stappard and taxi driver Mr Fenwick, 57, who lives opposite, crawled into the terraced property using their hands to feel around for the pensioner.
In a process not well understood by researchers, binding the integrin to ICAM-1 somehow causes the white blood cell to flatten against the vessel wall and feel around for a microscopic gap between the cells that make up the wall.