Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

torch

play
noun, often attributive \ˈtȯrch\

Simple Definition of torch

  • : a long stick with material at one end that burns brightly

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of torch

  1. 1 :  a burning stick of resinous wood or twist of tow used to give light and usually carried in the hand :  flambeau

  2. 2 :  something (as tradition, wisdom, or knowledge) likened to a torch as giving light or guidance <pass the torch to the next generation>

  3. 3 :  any of various portable devices for emitting an unusually hot flame — compare blowtorch

  4. 4 chiefly British :  flashlight 2

  5. 5 :  incendiary 1a

Examples of torch in a sentence

  1. <in an insurance scam, the slumlord hired a torch to burn the tenement down>



Origin of torch

Middle English torche, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *torca, alteration of Latin torqua something twisted, collar of twisted metal, alteration of torques; akin to Latin torquēre to twist — more at torture


First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with torch


2

torch

transitive verb

Simple Definition of torch

  • : to set fire to (something, such as a building) deliberately : to cause (something) to burn

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of torch

  1. :  to set fire to with or as if with a torch

Examples of torch in a sentence

  1. An arsonist torched the building.

  2. <police suspect that the owner torched the house for the insurance money>



1901

First Known Use of torch

1901



TORCH Defined for Kids

torch

play
noun \ˈtȯrch\

Definition of torch for Students

  1. 1 :  a flaming light that is made of something which burns brightly and that is usually carried in the hand

  2. 2 :  something that gives light or guidance <She passed the torch of family traditions to her children.>

  3. 3 :  a portable device for producing a hot flame <a welder's torch>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up torch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by propriety and good taste

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

prompt oily maudlin angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ