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.