1

touch

verb \ ˈtəch \
Updated on: 10 Nov 2017

Definition of touch

transitive verb
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
2 a :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
b :to take into the hands or mouth
  • never touches alcohol
3 :to strike or push lightly especially with the hand or foot or an implement
4 :to cause to be briefly in contact or conjunction with something
  • touched her spurs to the horse
  • touched his hand to his hat
5 :to deal with :become involved with
  • a sticky situation and I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole
6 a (1) :to meet without overlapping or penetrating :adjoin
(2) :to get to :reach
  • the speedometer needle touched 80
b :to rival in quality or value
  • nothing can touch that cloth for durability
c :to be tangent to
7 :to speak or tell of especially in passing
  • barely touched the incident in the speech
8 a :to relate to :concern
b :to have an influence on :affect
9 a :to move to sympathetic feeling
b :to hurt the feelings of :wound
10 a :to leave a mark or impression on
  • few reagents will touch gold
; also :tinge
b :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
11 :to draw or delineate with light strokes
12 :to induce to give or lend
  • touched him for ten dollars
13 :to lay hands upon (one afflicted with scrofula) with intent to heal
14 archaic
a :to play on (a stringed instrument)
b :to perform (a melody) by playing or singing
intransitive verb
1 a :to feel something with a body part (such as the hand or foot)
b :to lay hand or finger on a person to cure disease (such as scrofula)
2 :to be in contact
3 :to come close :verge
  • your actions touch on treason
4 a :to treat a topic in a brief or casual manner used with on or upon
  • touched upon many points
b :to make a brief or incidental stop on shore during a trip by water
  • touched at several ports
5 :to have a bearing :relate used with on or upon

touchable

play \ˈtə-chə-bəl\ adjective

toucher

noun
touch base
:to come in contact or communication
  • coming in from the cold to touch base with civilization
  • —Carla Hunt

Examples of touch in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of touch from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'touch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of touch

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

touch Synonyms

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

2

touch

noun

Definition of touch

1 :the act or fact of touching; also :the act or an instance of handling or controlling a ball (as in basketball or soccer)
2 :the special sense by which pressure or traction exerted on the skin or mucous membrane is perceived
3 :a specified sensation that arises in response to stimulation of the tactile receptors :feel
  • the velvety touch of velour
4 a :a light stroke, tap, or push
b :a hit against an opponent in fencing
5 a :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
6 :mental or moral sensitiveness, responsiveness, or tact
  • has a wonderful touch with children
7 :something slight of its kind: such as
a :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
8 :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
9 a :a visible effect :mark
  • a touch of the tropical sun
10 :control of the hands: such as
a :a manner or method of touching or striking especially the keys of a keyboard instrument
b :ability to precisely control the path and speed of a shot or pass
  • a great shooting touch
11 :the area outside of the touchlines in soccer or outside of and including the touchlines in rugby
  • the ball went into touch
12 a :particular action of a keyboard with reference to the resistance of its keys to pressure
  • piano with a stiff touch
b archaic :the playing of an instrument (such as a lute or piano) with the fingers; also :musical notes or strains so produced
13 a :test, trial used chiefly in the phrase put to the touch
b archaic :the act of rubbing gold or silver on a touchstone to test its quality
14 :a set of changes in change ringing that is less than a peal
15 slang :an act of soliciting or getting a gift or loan
a touch
:somewhat, rather
  • aimed a touch too low and missed

Examples of touch in a Sentence

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

  2. The plate was hot to the touch.

Recent Examples of touch from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'touch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of touch

14th century


TOUCH Defined for English Language Learners

touch

verb

Definition of touch for English Language Learners

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

  • : to be in contact with (something)

  • : to change or move (something)


touch

noun

Definition of touch for English Language Learners

  • : 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


TOUCH Defined for Kids

1

touch

verb \ ˈtəch \

Definition of touch for Students

touched; touching
1 :to feel or handle (as with the fingers) especially so as to be aware of
  • I touched the rabbit's soft fur.
2 :to be or cause to be in contact with something
  • Lightly touch the paintbrush to your paper.
3 :to hit lightly
  • Be careful not to touch the walls.
4 :2harm
  • No one will dare to touch you.
5 :to make use of
  • She never touches meat.
6 :to refer to in passing
  • The report touched upon many topics.
7 :to affect the interest of
  • This matter touches all of us.
8 :to have an influence on
  • As a teacher, he touched many lives.
9 :to move emotionally
  • I was touched by your kindness.

2

touch

noun

Definition of touch for Students

1 :a light stroke or tap
  • Stop crying. It was only a touch and couldn't have hurt.
2 :the act or fact of touching or being touched
  • I felt a gentle touch on my shoulder.
3 :the sense by which light pressure on the skin is felt
  • The substance is soft to the touch.
4 :an impression gotten through the sense of touch
  • the soft touch of silk
5 :a state of contact or communication
  • It is important to keep in touch with friends.
6 :a small amount :trace
  • a touch of humor
7 :a small detail
  • We put the finishing touches on the decorations.

Medical Dictionary

1

touch

transitive verb \ ˈtəch \

medical Definition of touch

: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
intransitive verb
:to feel something with a body part (as the hand or foot)

2

touch

noun

medical Definition of touch

1 :the special sense by which pressure or traction exerted on the skin or mucous membrane is perceived
2 :a light attack
  • a touch of fever


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