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 Brown responded by telling the officer not to touch him several times. Blake Atwell, David Close And Ray Sanchez, CNN, "NBA player Sterling Brown's $750,000 settlement approved after 2018 incident where he was tased by police," 4 May 2021 Over time, Floyd started to approach Ronnie gingerly, eventually crawling on the floor to touch her, his nose to her snout. Washington Post, "‘Floyd was my man. But George Floyd is a movement.’," 26 Apr. 2021 The state’s savings account is expected to swell to $11.6 billion by late 2023, if lawmakers don’t touch it. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Texas Senate passes $250.7B, two-year budget that keeps promises to schools but squeezes elsewhere," 6 Apr. 2021 His wife, Christi, has a firm edict that his work clothes are never to touch hers. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "How San Antonio pitmasters and grill cooks deal with smoke smell, because living that BBQ life means always smelling like smoke," 5 Apr. 2021 Once Nora woke up, no one would be able to touch her again without putting her under, and there was no way to bandage her wound or keep her from licking the incision site. The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Nora the polar bear’s many challenges, including leg surgery, are recounted in a new book. Here’s an excerpt.," 19 Mar. 2021 Many chronic pain patients are simply left without a regular doctor because nobody will touch them. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, "People With Chronic Pain Are Claiming A Voice In The Opioids Crisis," 17 Mar. 2021 Jovi must know that, too, in order to go through with a wedding to a woman who tells him not to touch her on their wedding day. Ashley Ray-harris, Vulture, "90 Day Fiancé Recap: Finally, Some Good Choices," 15 Mar. 2021 When hospitals began allowing visits inside COVID units, where patient and visitor are separated by a glass barrier, a son could see his dying father but not touch him. Adelaide Chen, orlandosentinel.com, "For families of COVID-19 victims, pandemic year brought grief but not closure," 11 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fill out the questionnaire below or email jenny.deam@propublica.org to get in touch. Jenny Deam, ProPublica, "He Bought Health Insurance for Emergencies. Then He Fell Into a $33,601 Trap.," 8 May 2021 The bandmates haven’t been in touch for years—they were thrown together by management to begin with, à la the Spice Girls. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Girls5eva’ Review: Getting the Band Back 2gether," 4 May 2021 Some of my nieces and nephews make a point of staying in touch. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Employee uses PTO to go AWOL," 30 Apr. 2021 Some of my nieces and nephews make a point of staying in touch. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Work manager needs to set PTO policy and enforce it," 30 Apr. 2021 The Washington Post could not reach Solano on Wednesday, and the local police union declined to help a reporter get in touch. Washington Post, "Video shows Chicago police killing Anthony Alvarez as he runs away: ‘Why are you shooting me?’," 29 Apr. 2021 The elder Mirer said a number of schools have been in touch, but so far Michigan is Charlie’s lone scholarship offer. Eric Hansen, The Indianapolis Star, "Former Notre Dame QB Rick Mirer reflects on own NFL Draft experience, Ian Book's future," 28 Apr. 2021 Vowing to keep in touch, the women exchanged numbers. Chandelis Duster, CNN, "Woman taken as a baby reunites with her swamp rescuer. But questions linger over her disappearance," 27 Apr. 2021 There are quite a few of us OG players that stay in touch. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Jerri Manthey recalls walking out on 'All-Stars' reunion show," 27 Apr. 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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Touch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/touch. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on touch

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