touch off

verb
touched off; touching off; touches off

Definition of touch off

transitive verb

1a : to provoke or initiate with sudden intensity the verdict touched off local riots
b : to cause to explode by or as if by touching with fire
2 : to describe or characterize with precision

Examples of touch off in a Sentence

his obscene comment touched off a heated debate about the need for censorship on live broadcasts

First Known Use of touch off

1694, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Learn More About touch off

Time Traveler for touch off

Time Traveler

The first known use of touch off was in 1694

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near touch off

touch needle

touch off

touch on/upon

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for touch off

Cite this Entry

“Touch off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/touch%20off. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!