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 touch (audio) \ adjective
toucher noun

Synonyms for touch

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Blasco estimates that in a conventional supply chain, up to 12 different parties might touch a yellowtail on its way to the consumer from Guaymas. Popular Science, "Post-pandemic seafood could be more sustainable. Here’s how tech is driving the change.," 23 Feb. 2021 And the crashes -- even though, touch wood, most of the time drivers are okay -- are very impressive. Amanda Davies And George Ramsay, CNN, "Life after seeing death: How Romain Grosjean's family inspired him as he was engulfed by flames," 22 Feb. 2021 Grant, who commanded the Union Army during the Civil War, understood better than most that the dangers presented by militant white supremacy were not limited to Black America, and would eventually touch every corner of the nation. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "“Judas and the Black Messiah” and the Klan Act," 21 Feb. 2021 But its duty is to oversee massive health care programs including Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare which touch the lives of one in three Americans. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Historic winter storm throws a wrench into COVID vaccine rollout in Texas," 18 Feb. 2021 Traditional funerals in which people wash and touch the body of the deceased facilitate the spread of Ebola. NBC News, "Thousands of Ebola vaccines to be sent to Guinea to combat recent epidemic, WHO says," 18 Feb. 2021 Argo is a midsize player in the niche field of insuring complex or hard-to-price risks other insurers won’t touch. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "COVID, weather catastrophes take toll on insurer Argo Group's 2020 financial results," 18 Feb. 2021 The series is comprised of simple, kid-friendly lessons that will touch on family, nature and geography. Danielle Harling, House Beautiful, "IKEA's New Swedish Language Lessons Couldn't Have Come at a Better Time," 13 Feb. 2021 Fighter jets will carry the drone, which will allow the planes to reach out and touch targets far beyond the range of existing missiles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Is Building a Fighter Drone Armed With Air-to-Air Missiles," 10 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Chicas had lost contact with his lawyers, so Leyva put him in touch with Cielo, who offered to help him. Los Angeles Times, "A Santa Ana student’s father faced deportation. Her work to free him helped send her to Harvard," 25 Feb. 2021 The chapter called on parents to get in touch with their pediatricians to schedule visits to keep their children up to date. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Preaching vaccines, bonnet scheme, well water: News from around our 50 states," 22 Feb. 2021 Kick Pleat’s edit feels perfectly in touch with wider trends in the fashion world, without ever losing that Texas edge. Vogue, "Our Readers Nominated These Small Businesses Across America for Vogue’s Retail Directory," 22 Feb. 2021 Based out of Burbank, California, Posey stays in touch with his fans on Instagram (@jpose13). chicagotribune.com, "Celebrity Traveler: Go away with ... Jesse Posey," 19 Feb. 2021 Her staff has been in touch with the Andrikises, and Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee said his town’s economic development director is also reaching out to see what alternatives could work. Don Stacom, courant.com, "Have burgers, will travel: Big Steve’s Grill in Plainville on the hunt for a new home," 19 Feb. 2021 No news yet on Larry Fitzgerald, but team wants Patrick Peterson back Get in touch with Jose Romero at Jose.Romero@gannett.com. Jose M. Romero, The Arizona Republic, "Coyotes rally, but fall to Kings in overtime shootout," 19 Feb. 2021 But Chen said the Taiwanese government had never been in touch with Fosun, and was talking directly with BioNTech in Germany instead. Nectar Gan, CNN, "Taiwan blames 'external forces' for blocking BioNTech vaccine deal. China says it had nothing to do with it," 18 Feb. 2021 During the pandemic, Farden has stayed in touch with Utah’s season ticket holders by offering media clips and other online tidbits to keep fans engaged. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah’s Tom Farden and UCLA’s Chris Waller: New coaches finding different ways to lead ‘old guard’ gymnastics programs," 18 Feb. 2021

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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Learn More about touch

Time Traveler for touch

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for touch

Last Updated

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Touch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/touch. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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Comments on touch

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