late 12c., "act of touching, sense of touch," verbal noun from feel (v.). Meaning "a conscious emotion" is mid-14c. Meaning "what one feels (about something), opinion" is from mid-15c. Meaning "capacity to feel" is from 1580s.
c. 1400, "pertaining to the physical senses, sensory," present-participle adjective from feel (v.). Related: Feelingly.
"tender or sensitive side of one's nature," 1771, from plural of feeling.
1721, "loss of feeling," medical Latin, from Greek anaisthēsia "want of feeling or perception, lack of sensation (to pleasure or pain)," abstract noun from an- "without" (see an- (1)) + aisthēsis "feeling" (from PIE root *au- "to perceive"). For the abstract noun ending, see -ia.
As "a procedure for the prevention of pain in surgical operations," attested from 1846. Aesthesia "capacity for feeling" is attested in English from 1853, perhaps a back-formation.
1570s, "affinity between certain things," from French sympathie (16c.) and directly from Late Latin sympathia "community of feeling, sympathy," from Greek sympatheia "fellow-feeling, community of feeling," from sympathes "having a fellow feeling, affected by like feelings," from assimilated form of syn- "together" (see syn-) + pathos "feeling" (from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer").
In English, almost a magical notion at first; used in reference to medicines that heal wounds when applied to a cloth stained with blood from the wound. Meaning "conformity of feelings" is from 1590s; sense of "fellow feeling, compassion" is first attested c. 1600. An Old English loan-translation of sympathy was efensargung.
1630s, "capable of feeling, having the power of or characterized by the exercise of sense-perception," from Latin sentientem (nominative sentiens) "feeling," present participle of sentire "to feel" (see sense (n.)). Related: Sentiently.
word-forming element meaning "feeling, suffering, emotion; disorder, disease," from Latin -pathia, from Greek -patheia "act of suffering, feeling" (from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer"). Meaning "system of treatment of disease, method, cure, curative treatment" is abstracted from homeopathy (q.v.).