tactile

adjective
tac·​tile | \ ˈtak-tᵊl How to pronounce tactile (audio) , -ˌtī(-ə)l \

Definition of tactile

1 : perceptible by touch : tangible
2 : of, relating to, or being the sense of touch

Other Words from tactile

tactilely \ ˈtak-​tə-​lē How to pronounce tactile (audio) , -​ˌtī(-​ə)l-​lē \ adverb

Reach Out and Touch the Meaning of Tactile

Tangible is related to tactile, and so are intact, tact, contingent, tangent, and even entire. There's also the uncommon noun taction, meaning "the act of touching." Like tactile, all of these words can be traced back to the Latin verb tangere, meaning "to touch." Tactile was adopted by English speakers in the early 17th century (possibly by way of the French tactile) from the Latin adjective tactilis ("tangible"). Tactilis comes from tactus, a past participle of tangere.

Examples of tactile in a Sentence

He not only had visual difficulties but tactile ones, too—witness his grasping his wife's head and mistaking it for a hat … — Oliver Sacks, New Yorker, 7 Oct. 2002 There is a tactile and therefore somatic dimension to stroking the chalk that keeps the artist in constant, responsible and responsive touch with his emerging creation. — Jed Perl, New Republic, 17 June 2002 The keyboard has good tactile feedback, and the touch pad is responsive without being too twitchy. — Bruce Brown, PC Magazine, 20 Feb. 2001 … nothing prepared me for the tactile reality of the original volumes, leaf after carefully written leaf over which his hand had travelled … — Edmund Morris, New Yorker, 16 Jan. 1995 Near midday the heat of the sun bounced up from the bare patches of soil to hit with an almost tactile force. — Edward O. Wilson, Smithsonian, October 1984 The thick brushstrokes give the painting a tactile quality. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Barragán sees the title as a metaphor for Iris, who in her visit to the city adroitly learns to adapt to her new environment but remains mysterious, transparent, tactile. Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety, 18 Sep. 2022 But in Israel, Biden – a tactile politician known for hugs and warm embraces – shook hands with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and several others. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 15 July 2022 Professor Hatice Gunes argues that children are tactile and they’re drawn to technology. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 1 Sep. 2022 Even Apple moved back towards a keyboard with better travel and a more tactile feel after the failure of the Butterfly Keyboard. Christian De Looper, BGR, 26 July 2022 All of the brushes are extremely tactile and allow users with a variety of struggles to get a new feel for more independent makeup application. Chloe Valentine Toscano, Allure, 9 June 2022 At the University of Washington’s Center for Neurotechnology, our team is working out how best to engineer stimulation to the brain to restore tactile sensations that allow people to perform useful tasks. David Caldwell, The Conversation, 30 Mar. 2022 Meta, Facebook's new parent company, has revealed new research about an A.I.-powered system that helps robots recognize and react to tactile sensations. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 2 Nov. 2021 Jack Purcher notes: Apple's patent covers a haptic structure for providing localized haptic output and tactile sensations for an electronic device…. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 11 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of tactile

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tactile

French or Latin; French, from Latin tactilis, from tangere to touch — more at tangent entry 2

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Time Traveler for tactile

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The first known use of tactile was in 1615

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Dictionary Entries Near tactile

tactics

tactile

tactile disk

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Statistics for tactile

Last Updated

2 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tactile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tactile. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for tactile

tactile

adjective
tac·​tile | \ ˈtak-təl How to pronounce tactile (audio) \

Kids Definition of tactile

: relating to the sense of touch

tactile

adjective
tac·​tile | \ ˈtak-tᵊl How to pronounce tactile (audio) , -ˌtīl How to pronounce tactile (audio) \

Medical Definition of tactile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, mediated by, or affecting the sense of touch tactile sensations tactile stimuli tactile anesthesia
2 : having or being organs or receptors for the sense of touch

Other Words from tactile

tactilely \ -​ē How to pronounce tactile (audio) \ adverb

tactile

noun

Medical Definition of tactile (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person whose prevailing mental imagery is tactile rather than visual, auditory, or motor — compare audile entry 1, motile entry 2, visualizer

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