touch off

transitive verb

Definition of TOUCH OFF

:  to describe or characterize with precision
a :  to cause to explode by or as if by touching with fire
b :  to provoke or initiate with sudden intensity <the verdict touched off local riots>

Examples of TOUCH OFF

  1. <his obscene comment touched off a heated debate about the need for censorship on live broadcasts>

First Known Use of TOUCH OFF

circa 1765


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