feel·ing (flng) KEY
feeling, emotion, passion, sentiment
These nouns refer to complex and usually strong subjective human response. Although feeling and emotion are sometimes interchangeable, feeling is the more general and neutral: "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity" (William Wordsworth). Emotion often implies the presence of excitement or agitation: "Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion" (T.S. Eliot). Passion is intense, compelling emotion: "They seemed like ungoverned children inflamed with the fiercest passions of men" (Francis Parkman). Sentiment often applies to a thought or opinion arising from or influenced by emotion: We expressed our sentiments about the government's policies. The word can also refer to delicate, sensitive, or higher or more refined feelings: "The mystic reverence, the religious allegiance, which are essential to a true monarchy, are imaginative sentiments that no legislature can manufacture in any people" (Walter Bagehot). See also Synonyms at opinion.