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

In further questioning, Lopez also touched on the 2017 slaying of journalist Javier Valdez outside his office in outside his office in Culiacan, Sinaloa’s capital city. Tom Hays, The Seattle Times, "Witness: El Chapo’s wife was in on plans for prison escape," 23 Jan. 2019 His remarks also touched on conflicts in Yemen, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Pope Calls for Political Solution to Syria Conflict After U.S. Announces Pullout," 25 Dec. 2018 Rebecca also touched on what the Christmas party means to her family. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Gives a Heartfelt Speech at a Christmas Party For Military Families," 4 Dec. 2018 And sometimes will touch 99, even 100 with late movement. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "A’s closer Blake Treinen sinks opposition while team soars," 5 July 2018 There are so many aspects of it that touch me, from her young childhood to meeting Barack to the last day in office. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Why Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' Is Required Reading," 1 Jan. 2019 That is a gargantuan undertaking that will touch every American life. David Roberts, Vox, "The Green New Deal, explained," 21 Dec. 2018 The circular collection device is at the tip of the arm, and the round face is the only part of the spacecraft that will touch Bennu, resting on the surface. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Spacecraft That's About to Play Tag with an Asteroid," 16 Nov. 2018 Walking the red carpet at the London Film Festival, Amandla rocked a flowing midnight black gown with ends that touched the ground. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Amandla Stenberg Wore a Black Gown to the London Premiere of "The Hate U Give"," 21 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meet intuitive eating, the idea of ditching diet culture and getting in touch with your body first and foremost before making decisions about food. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Intuitive Eating? How to Eat Better Without Dieting, According to Nutritionists," 6 Mar. 2019 Northwestern: Falzon had the right touch from the outside, and the Wildcats gave their postseason hopes a boost. Andrew Seligman, The Seattle Times, "Falzon scores 21, Northwestern beats Indiana 73-66," 22 Jan. 2019 Now on the market for $1.065M, the 1978 design has luxe touches including white brick walls, refinished wood floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "’70s house perfect for art collectors asks $1.1M," 21 Nov. 2018 Readers also praise its premium economy section, which has pleasing touches like hot towels and a welcome drink. 7. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best International Airlines: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 The violet makeup appeared to have just a touch of sheen, and was swathed out to the end of the brows in a cat eye fashion. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Amandla Stenberg Wore Purple Eyeshadow on "The Hate U Give" Red Carpet," 5 Oct. 2018 In the last console generation, the PS3 had a more sophisticated cadre of exclusives, the Wii U had that special Nintendo touch, while the Xbox 360 had a more robust online community thanks to Xbox Live. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fortnite cross-play on PS4 ushers in a new era of the console wars," 26 Sep. 2018 McCall ultimately made the move from Florida and kept in touch with Chen. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "It's Time to Rethink How You Find a Mentor at Work," 18 Dec. 2018 Police also got in touch with Muhs and her husband, but told them this kind of thing isn’t completely out of the ordinary. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "North Dakota woman's Halloween decoration freaks out neighbors, prompts police response," 27 Sep. 2018

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

22 Mar 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

grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!