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 Tonight, if everything goes as planned, the spacecraft will swoop toward the asteroid, touch its surface, and snatch some rocks before backing away again. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "A Handful of Asteroid Could Help Decipher Our Entire Existence," 20 Oct. 2020 Your hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Melissa Burdi, The Conversation, "7 tips for staying safe as COVID-19 cases rise and colder weather heightens the risk," 19 Oct. 2020 My sole in-person visit found more seating outside than in, and garage doors rolled up, negating the need to touch a handle and promoting air circulation. Washington Post, "Gather around Tabla for another helping of Georgian cooking," 16 Oct. 2020 McAllister wanted to make sure local folks can still come to a physical location to touch and try on items before purchasing. courant.com, "Community news for the Enfield edition," 8 Oct. 2020 In other tech news this week Amazon introduced a palm reader as an alternative to touch and facial ID, for allowing consumers a different way to pay for goods, and to sign in with their Amazon accounts. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "From Apple to Xbox: Mark your calendar. Here come the new fall gadgets," 3 Oct. 2020 Just touch and hold on your screen just above the dock until all the apps start jiggling. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "Want to hide all your apps on the iPhone? Now you can," 1 Oct. 2020 Drew Sheriff, director of Amazon physical stores, said there are certain products people love to see, touch and feel. Austin Fuller, orlandosentinel.com, "Amazon 4-Star store opens at Mall at Millenia on Wednesday," 23 Sep. 2020 People should be reminded not to touch the mask and to wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, the guidelines say. Jen Christensen, CNN, "CDC updates school guidelines for Covid-19 pandemic," 21 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When plain old Pyrex doesn’t seem quite up to snuff, this oval serving dish will add a delicate touch to elevate your serving game, ever so gently. Kara Nelson | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "Take the edge off of entertaining with these organic-looking serving pieces, for the holidays and beyond," 22 Oct. 2020 Red sprinkles and a green icing swirl add the finishing touch. Marcy De Luna, Chron, "Blue Bell releases two holiday flavors: Christmas Cookies and Peppermint," 22 Oct. 2020 While using his mother's words was key to capturing Sobiech's story, Baldoni also used the singer's actual belongings to add a sentimental touch. Martha Sorren, refinery29.com, "Clouds Is More Than A True Story For Director Justin Baldoni," 16 Oct. 2020 These petrified sand dunes add a touch of the exotic in this intimate place. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, "5 of the best fall hikes in Arizona: Here's how to explore these less crowded trails," 14 Oct. 2020 Brevity has a delicate gold script necklace that will add a romantic touch to any outfit. Michella Oré, Glamour, "Gigi Hadid Wore the Cutest ‘Mama’ Necklace After Giving Birth to Her Daughter," 1 Oct. 2020 Add some tailoring over an otherwise casual look—like this one that involves lace-up kicks and a baseball cap—for a styling hack sure to add a touch of effortlessness to any look. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "At Milan Fashion Week, Street Style Stars Chose Suits Over Sweats," 29 Sep. 2020 Great for home offices and guest rooms, these miniature plants add a touch of romantic charm to windowsills and tabletops. Ana Connery, CNN Underscored, "16 artificial plants and flowers that actually look real," 28 Sep. 2020 Round air vents add a distinctive design touch, while a $500 Lighting Package adds ambient interior lighting and exterior ground lighting. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Cheap frills make the 2020 Nissan Sentra a little luxury ride (review)," 26 Sep. 2020

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

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Touch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/touch. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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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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Comments on touch

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