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 upontouched 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

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 One anti-nausea medication a day doesn't touch it so Caitlyn Goslee takes two. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "At 27 with a new baby, she thought she had the flu. It was blood cancer.," 11 Nov. 2019 Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who co-chaired the event along with sometime political nemesis Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the county Democratic chair, also touched on the federal investigations. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "At Democratic fundraiser, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says public right to be angry at indicted pols and that he’ll push ethics reform," 6 Nov. 2019 Khloé also wrote a touching tribute to her mom, thanking her for teaching her how to celebrate life. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Kim Kardashian Rents Out Childhood Home for Mom Kris Jenner's Emotional 64th Birthday: 'We Cried'," 5 Nov. 2019 Zidane also touched on Bale's inclusion in Ryan Giggs' most recent Wales squad ahead of the upcoming international break. SI.com, "Zinedine Zidane Admits He Wants Gareth Bale to Stay at Real Madrid," 5 Nov. 2019 The technology touches many different things in our world, from the environment to gene therapies to fertility. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "The ‘unbelievable journey’ of CRISPR, now on Netflix," 18 Oct. 2019 THE 39-METER Jensen, a former Danish fisheries research ship and icebreaker, is far removed from large modern oceanographic ships, where scientists rarely get to touch an instrument. Paul Voosen, Science Magazine, "A project to monitor every aspect of a fast-shrinking glacier could hold an answer to an urgent question: How fast will seas rise?," 10 Oct. 2019 Its governance deficits are acutely felt by the poor, but also touch wealthier residents. Ndubisi Onwuanyi, Quartz Africa, "The unplanned journey that led Lagos to becoming an overwhelmed megacity," 5 Oct. 2019 The thief didn’t touch cash and other items that had been left in plain view, according to the report. La Cañada Valley Sun, "Crime Report: Two La Cañada homes ransacked in final week of September; suspects in one case caught on video," 2 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Or get in touch with nature and camp in style at this retro airstream in Wimberley. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Adorable Texas Hill Country Airbnb cabins perfect for a fall getaway," 6 Nov. 2019 Asked if any Shlama Foundation officials were in touch with Primorac, Norquist or Ferguson prior to its award being announced, board member Ranna Abro declined to answer specifically. Yeganeh Torbati, ProPublica, "How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups," 6 Nov. 2019 Get in touch with your creative side and make a unique wreath to donate to the Carroll County Arts Council for our silent auction. Judy Morley, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Coming Attractions: Middle school production of Once on This Island, Jr., set for Nov. 8-10," 31 Oct. 2019 Find out how writer Cameron Glover got in touch with hers by reading this piece. Allure, "Let’s Talk Therapy: Why We’re Spending October Destigmatizing the Mental Health Discussion," 30 Oct. 2019 Frankfurt, meanwhile, will be hoping to stay in touch with the leading pack. SI.com, "Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Munich Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 30 Oct. 2019 The blazer featured big buttons down the center and a belt cinched around the waist, adding a feminine touch to traditionally masculine apparel. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selena Gomez Wears the Coolest Blue Suit by Sies Marjan in New York," 28 Oct. 2019 Whether elegant or crude, and often with a touch of serendipity, these singular efforts have delivered insights that changed our view of ourselves or the universe. Discover Magazine, "Table of Contents November 2019," 27 Oct. 2019 Families on opposite sides of the border can at last be in touch with each other. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 24 Oct. 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

15 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce touch (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for touch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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