touch

verb
\ ˈtəch How to pronounce touch (audio) \
touched; touching; touches

Definition of touch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
2a : 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
6a(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
8a : to relate to : concern
b : to have an influence on : affect
9a : to move to sympathetic feeling
b : to hurt the feelings of : wound
10a : 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

1a : 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
4a : 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
touch base
: to come in contact or communication coming in from the cold to touch base with civilization— Carla Hunt

touch

noun

Definition of touch (Entry 2 of 2)

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
4a : a light stroke, tap, or push
b : a hit against an opponent in fencing
5a : 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
9a : 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
12a : 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
13a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from touch

Verb

touchable \ ˈtə-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce touchable (audio) \ adjective
toucher noun

Synonyms for touch

Synonyms: Verb

feel

Synonyms: Noun

communication, contact, hold

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for touch

Verb

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

Examples of touch in a Sentence

Verb

Please do not touch the statue. Slowly bend forward and try to touch your toes. He tried to touch the snake with a stick. The top of the Christmas tree almost touches the ceiling. Sparks flew when the wires touched each other. They were standing side-by-side with their shoulders touching. Sparks flew when the wires touched. Their house burned to the ground, but the house next door wasn't touched by the fire.

Noun

Blind since birth, she relies on her sense of touch to read braille. The plate was hot to the touch.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Walpole residents and students touched by the post have gone to the fields to look for the bracelet. BostonGlobe.com, "A Walpole veteran is asking for the public’s help finding a bracelet he lost Saturday honoring a US Army veteran friend killed in action 14 years ago.," 17 Sep. 2019 Nikki Guevara of Clio, an instrument panel assembler, asked that the public just reflect on the number of lives touched by the auto industry and practice kindness and understanding for hardworking people. Phoebe Wall Howard, USA TODAY, "UAW hourly workers hope for short strike against GM as strike begins," 16 Sep. 2019 Nikki Guevara of Clio, an instrument panel assembler, asked that the public just reflect on the number of lives touched by the auto industry and practice kindness and understanding for hardworking people. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "'Pray for us,' UAW hourly worker urges on Day 1 of the GM strike," 16 Sep. 2019 Much of Hansman’s trip is a meditation not on the beguiling beauty of the American West but on how every corner of the United States is now touched by development. Max Holleran, The New Republic, "The Water Wars Are Here," 13 Sep. 2019 Thinking of everyone touched by the events of that tragic day and its aftermath. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "GOP narrowly wins North Carolina race, Antonio Brown accused of rape and some good news for America's vets: The Morning Rundown," 11 Sep. 2019 Though tourism is booming on the main island, the smaller, outer islands are barely touched by Western influences, and life remains simple. National Geographic, "Fiji Community Service: Community Restoration," 10 Sep. 2019 Even as cities and standards of living rose, gaping inequalities remained; progress did not touch all in the same way. William To, azcentral, "Love in the time of loss: ‘Shining Brow’ and the life of Frank Lloyd Wright," 30 Aug. 2019 The goal is to serve more people who are touched by cancer in Greater Cleveland. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Westlake Porter Public Library is going fine-free: West Shore Chatter," 27 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In a one-on-one from point-blank range, Marta fired the shot with her first touch and leveled the score at 1-1. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride fall 2-1 to Washington Spirit in front of sold-out Audi Field crowd," 26 Aug. 2019 The Free Press invited Elliott to explain what inspired some of Bowlero's unique and eccentric touches. John Monaghan, Freep.com, "Royal Oak bowling alley's $1.4M vintage overhaul is a 'feast for the eyes'," 22 Aug. 2019 After a daylong search, police have been in touch with the grandmother of the child, who is 3 years old, according to the TV station. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Woman finds toddler asleep on porch in cardboard cat box near burned vehicle with human remains," 17 Sep. 2019 For one thing, McCulloch argues, the Internet is speeding up the evolution of English by increasing our ability to stay loosely in touch with, and mutually influence, one another. Megan Marz, Washington Post, "How the Internet has changed the way we write — and speak. It’s not all ALL bad.," 12 Sep. 2019 The pieces added a sentimental touch to her ensemble. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wears Princess Diana's Jewelry to the Launch of Her Fashion Line," 12 Sep. 2019 That men aren’t in touch with their feelings, or shouldn’t be. Caira Conner, Teen Vogue, "Liz Plank's "For the Love of Men" Is a Look at Why We All Deserve More From Masculinity," 10 Sep. 2019 Listen to the answer, keep in touch with each other, and see where your own life takes you. Amy Dickinson, The Denver Post, "Ask Amy: Luggage snafu leads to mystery note," 30 Aug. 2019 When the installation was finally complete, Jo put the finishing touches with signature merchandise. Selena Barrientos, House Beautiful, "You’ve Got to See How Joanna Gaines Created Magnolia Market’s New Fall Display," 30 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of touch

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

History and Etymology for touch

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about touch

Statistics for touch

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for touch

The first known use of touch was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for touch

touch

verb

English Language Learners Definition of touch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to put your hand, fingers, etc., on someone or something
: to be in contact with (something)
: to change or move (something)

touch

noun

English Language Learners Definition of touch (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

verb
\ ˈtəch How to pronounce touch (audio) \
touched; touching

Kids Definition of touch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 : harm entry 2 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.

touch

noun

Kids Definition of touch (Entry 2 of 2)

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.
\ ˈtəch How to pronounce touch (audio) \

Medical Definition of touch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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)

touch

noun

Medical Definition of touch (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on touch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with touch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for touch

Spanish Central: Translation of touch

Nglish: Translation of touch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of touch for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about touch

Comments on touch

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

to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!