hap·​tic | \ˈhap-tik \

Definition of haptic 

1 : relating to or based on the sense of touch

2 : characterized by a predilection for the sense of touch a haptic person

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Did You Know?

Haptic (from the Greek haptesthai, meaning "to touch") entered English in the late 19th century as a medical synonym for "tactile." By the middle of the 20th century, it had developed a psychological sense, describing individuals whose perception supposedly depended primarily on touch rather than sight. Although almost no one today divides humans into "haptic" and "visual" personalities, English retains the broadened psychological sense of "haptic" as well as the older "tactile" sense.

Examples of haptic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In Go Touch VR’s new system, derived from its engineers’ expertise in haptic feedback, the user wears three sensors on each hand, which resemble the things look like the blood-pressure sensors doctors place on your fingertips. Eric Adams, WIRED, "VR Pilot Training Now Comes With a Sense of Touch," 26 June 2018 The new solid state home button doesn’t actually move, but rather gives off a haptic touch that mimics the feeling of that movement. Lisa Marie Segarra, Fortune, "Apple Could Be Removing Buttons as You Know Them From the Apple Watch," 9 June 2018 On the interior, Audi overhauled its infotainment operating system, featuring haptic and acoustic feedback when the screen is tapped. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Audi Q8 SUV revealed: Luxury SUV market gets new 5-passenger model," 5 June 2018 Ignore the audio, visual, and haptic feedback for 15 seconds, and Super Cruise disengages. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "GM rolling out its amazing Super Cruise tech to more cars and brands," 6 June 2018 Developers are harnessing haptic technology that uses force, vibration and motion to simulate the feel of a virtual object. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 4 Apr. 2018 Audio, visual, and haptic (touch) sensors were part of the design. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "Russia and China's "Enhanced Human Operations" Terrify the Pentagon," 16 Dec. 2015 The day the artists visit, the team was in the middle of developing a prototype of something called The Sleeve, a stretchy piece of fabric embedded with sensors, wires, and haptic motors that can be slipped onto the forearm like an arm warmer. Elizabeth Stinson, WIRED, "What Artists Can Teach Us About Making Technology More Human," 10 May 2018 The Safety Alert Seat provided haptic vibration pulses instead of audible crash avoidance alerts. Emma Jayne Williams, star-telegram, "Buick redesigns the Enclave crossover for 2018, adding high-end Avenir trim | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 21 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of haptic

1860, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for haptic

International Scientific Vocabulary, from Greek haptesthai to touch

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Time Traveler for haptic

The first known use of haptic was in 1860

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More Definitions for haptic


hap·​tic | \ˈhap-tik \
variants: also haptical \ -​ti-​kəl \

Medical Definition of haptic 

1 : relating to or based on the sense of touch the haptic mode of perception— Colin Gordon

2 : characterized by a predilection for the sense of touch a haptic person

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