1

torch

play
noun, often attributive \ ˈtȯrch \

Definition of torch

1 :a burning stick of resinous wood or twist of tow used to give light and usually carried in the hand :flambeau
2 :something (such as tradition, wisdom, or knowledge) likened to a torch as giving light or guidance
  • pass the torch to the next generation
3 :any of various portable devices for emitting an unusually hot flame — compare blowtorch
4 chiefly British :flashlight 2
5 :incendiary 1a

Examples of torch in a Sentence

  1. in an insurance scam, the slumlord hired a torch to burn the tenement down

Recent Examples of torch from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of torch

Middle English torche, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *torca, alteration of Latin torqua something twisted, collar of twisted metal, alteration of torques; akin to Latin torquēre to twist — more at 1torture

torch Synonyms


2

torch

verb

Definition of torch

transitive verb
:to set fire to with or as if with a torch

Examples of torch in a Sentence

  1. An arsonist torched the building.

  2. police suspect that the owner torched the house for the insurance money

Recent Examples of torch from the Web

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

First Known Use of torch

1901



TORCH Defined for English Language Learners

torch

play
noun

Definition of torch for English Language Learners

  • : a long stick with material at one end that burns brightly


torch

verb

Definition of torch for English Language Learners

  • : to set fire to (something, such as a building) deliberately : to cause (something) to burn


TORCH Defined for Kids

torch

play
noun \ ˈtȯrch \

Definition of torch for Students

1 :a flaming light that is made of something which burns brightly and that is usually carried in the hand
2 :something that gives light or guidance
  • She passed the torch of family traditions to her children.
3 :a portable device for producing a hot flame
  • a welder's torch

Medical Dictionary

TORCH

play
noun \ ˈtȯrch \

medical Definition of TORCH

:a group of pathological agents that cause similar symptoms in newborns and that include especially a toxoplasma (Toxoplasma gonii), cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus, and the togavirus causing German measles

Origin and Etymology of torch

toxoplasma, rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!