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

touch

play
verb \ˈtəch\

Simple Definition of touch

  • : to put your hand, fingers, etc., on someone or something

  • : to be in contact with (something)

  • : to change or move (something)

Full Definition of touch

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to bring a bodily part into contact with especially so as to perceive through the tactile sense :  handle or feel gently usually with the intent to understand or appreciate <loved to touch the soft silk>

  3. 2 :  to strike or push lightly especially with the hand or foot or an implement

  4. 3 :  to lay hands upon (one afflicted with scrofula) with intent to heal

  5. 4 archaic a :  to play on (a stringed instrument)b :  to perform (a melody) by playing or singing

  6. 5a :  to take into the hands or mouth <never touches alcohol>b :  to put hands upon in any way or degree <don't touch anything before the police come>; especially :  to commit violence upon <swears he never touched the child>

  7. 6 :  to deal with :  become involved with <a sticky situation and I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole>

  8. 7 :  to induce to give or lend <touched him for ten dollars>

  9. 8 :  to cause to be briefly in contact or conjunction with something <touched her spurs to the horse> <touched his hand to his hat>

  10. 9a (1) :  to meet without overlapping or penetrating :  adjoin (2) :  to get to :  reach <the speedometer needle touched 80>b :  to be tangent toc :  to rival in quality or value <nothing can touch that cloth for durability>

  11. 10 :  to speak or tell of especially in passing <barely touched the incident in the speech>

  12. 11a :  to relate to :  concernb :  to have an influence on :  affect

  13. 12a :  to leave a mark or impression on <few reagents will touch gold>; also :  tingeb :  to harm slightly by or as if by contact :  taint, blemish <fruit touched by frost>c :  to give a delicate tint, line, or expression to <a smile touched her lips>d :  to get a hit off or score a run against <touched him for three runs>

  14. 13 :  to draw or delineate with light strokes

  15. 14a :  to hurt the feelings of :  woundb :  to move to sympathetic feeling

  16. intransitive verb
  17. 1a :  to feel something with a body part (as the hand or foot)b :  to lay hand or finger on a person to cure disease (as scrofula)

  18. 2 :  to be in contact

  19. 3 :  to come close :  verge <your actions touch on treason>

  20. 4 :  to have a bearing :  relate —used with on or upon

  21. 5a :  to make a brief or incidental stop on shore during a trip by water <touched at several ports>b :  to treat a topic in a brief or casual manner —used with on or upon <touched upon many points>

touch·able play \ˈtə-chə-bəl\ adjective
touch·er noun
touch base
  1. :  to come in contact or communication <coming in from the cold to touch base with civilization — Carla Hunt>

Examples of touch

  1. Please do not touch the statue.

  2. Slowly bend forward and try to touch your toes.

  3. He tried to touch the snake with a stick.

  4. The top of the Christmas tree almost touches the ceiling.

  5. Sparks flew when the wires touched each other.

  6. They were standing side-by-side with their shoulders touching.

  7. Sparks flew when the wires touched.

  8. Their house burned to the ground, but the house next door wasn't touched by the fire.



Origin of touch

Middle English, from Anglo-French tucher, tuchier, from Vulgar Latin *toccare to knock, strike a bell, touch, probably of imitative origin


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of touch

affect, influence, touch, impress, strike, sway mean to produce or have an effect upon. affect implies the action of a stimulus that can produce a response or reaction <the sight affected her to tears>. influence implies a force that brings about a change (as in nature or behavior) <our beliefs are influenced by our upbringing>. touch may carry a vivid suggestion of close contact and may connote stirring, arousing, or harming <plants touched by frost> <his emotions were touched by her distress>. impress stresses the depth and persistence of the effect <only one of the plans impressed him>. strike, similar to but weaker than impress, may convey the notion of sudden sharp perception or appreciation <struck by the solemnity of the occasion>. sway implies the acting of influences that are not resisted or are irresistible, with resulting change in character or course of action <politicians who are swayed by popular opinion>.

Rhymes with touch


2

touch

noun

Simple Definition of touch

  • : the act of touching someone or something

  • : the ability to be aware of something physical by touching it : the sense that allows you to feel physical things

  • : the quality of a thing that is experienced by feeling or touching it

Full Definition of touch

  1. 1a :  a light stroke, tap, or pushb :  a hit against an opponent in fencing

  2. 2 :  the act or fact of touching; also :  the act or an instance of handling or controlling a ball (as in basketball or soccer)

  3. 3 :  the special sense by which pressure or traction exerted on the skin or mucous membrane is perceived

  4. 4 :  mental or moral sensitiveness, responsiveness, or tact <has a wonderful touch with children>

  5. 5 :  a specified sensation that arises in response to stimulation of the tactile receptors :  feel <the velvety touch of velour>

  6. 6a archaic :  the act of rubbing gold or silver on a touchstone to test its qualityb :  test, trial —used chiefly in the phrase put to the touch

  7. 7a :  a visible effect :  mark <a touch of the tropical sun>b :  weakness, defect

  8. 8 :  something slight of its kind: asa :  a light attack <a touch of fever>b :  a small quantity or indication :  hint <a touch of spring in the air>c :  a transient emotion <a momentary touch of compunction>d :  a near approach :  close call <beaten in the championships by a mere touch>

  9. 9a archaic :  the playing of an instrument (as a lute or piano) with the fingers; also :  musical notes or strains so producedb :  particular action of a keyboard with reference to the resistance of its keys to pressure <piano with a stiff touch>

  10. 10 :  control of the hands: asa :  a manner or method of touching or striking especially the keys of a keyboard instrumentb :  ability to precisely control the path and speed of a shot or pass <a great shooting touch>

  11. 11 :  a set of changes in change ringing that is less than a peal

  12. 12a :  an effective and subtle detail <applies the finishing touches to the story>b :  distinctive and often effective manner or method <the touch of a master>c :  a characteristic or distinguishing trait or quality

  13. 13 slang :  an act of soliciting or getting a gift or loan

  14. 14 :  the state or fact of being in contact or communication or of having awareness <lost touch with her cousin> <let's keep in touch> <out of touch with modern times>

  15. 15 :  the area outside of the touchlines in soccer or outside of and including the touchlines in rugby <the ball went into touch>

a touch
  1. :  somewhat, rather <aimed a touch too low and missed>

Examples of touch

  1. Blind since birth, she relies on her sense of touch to read braille.

  2. The plate was hot to the touch.



14th Century

First Known Use of touch

14th century




Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

16.96 pounds 100 pounds 2.2 pounds 196.5 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ