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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

They were very briefly seen on screen in a Force Awakens flashback (when Rey first touched Luke’s lightsaber). John Gilpatrick, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know About the Future of Star Wars," 10 May 2019 The post features a touching shot of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and Doria Ragland (Meghan Markle's mother) all leaning over to get a peek at the tike, who's swaddled in a white blanket. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Meet Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in New Instagram Post," 8 May 2019 But any time Joe Biden tries to position himself as being better than Trump in that regard, rest assured you’re going to hear from Republicans about women Biden touched without their consent. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Joe Biden Isn't the Best Alternative to Trump," 6 May 2019 Cut into 9 squares and transfer to a baking sheet, placing close together but not touching. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Ham Biscuit Sandwiches With Apricot Mustard," 18 Mar. 2019 But poverty, prison, and unemployment disproportionately touch those with Arab or African last names. Angela Charlton, The Christian Science Monitor, "World Cup puts a different spotlight on immigration for European teams," 10 July 2018 In all instances, just be sure to wash your hands and any tools with hot soapy water after touching a sore. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, ""I Have a Cold Sore. Does That Mean I Have Herpes?"," 22 Feb. 2019 To mark the occasion, her son journalist Anderson Cooper posted a touching Instagram tribute. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Anderson Cooper Pays Tribute to His Mother Gloria Vanderbilt on Her 95th Birthday," 20 Feb. 2019 So what happens when an ice skate made from aluminum or steel touches the ice? Brian Resnick, Vox, "The surprising science of why ice is so slippery," 31 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At the base of the main touchscreen are a power button for the screen and touch-capacitive controls for the climate-control system. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The Volkswagen Golf Mark 8 Is Getting a Radical Interior Redesign," 15 May 2019 The creative director over there, Alex Sobol, just stayed in touch and was just super giving and kind. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Aly & AJ's EP "Sanctuary" Is a Brilliant '80s Synth-Pop Rebirth," 10 May 2019 Marshmello later that night performed for tournament competitors and staff, and the two sides stayed in touch. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Fortnite-Marshmello Mashup Showcases New Avenues for Games, Music," 9 Feb. 2019 In these locations, full-body misters squirt a cool mist of water from head to toe at the touch of a button. Daniel Wilson, sacbee, "What’s new at the California State Fair? Here’s everything you need to know," 13 July 2018 The former two also act as anti-inflammatories, which can help take down inflamed skin that feels warm to the touch. Elizabeth Denton, Allure, "Ouai's After Sun Foam Is Here to Soothe Your Skin This Summer," 24 Apr. 2019 From wooden platforms 860 feet in the air, the crew was going to raise and rivet a steel needle weighing 54,000 pounds—the finishing touch of a tower called the Chrysler Building. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (without touching water) and cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are very warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Ruby Red Grapefruit Tartlets," 8 Mar. 2019 Spread an even layer of glaze on éclair tops and let stand until dry to the touch, about 15 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Coconut Cream Éclairs," 7 Mar. 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.

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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

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Statistics for touch

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for touch

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

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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

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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

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