touch

verb
\ ˈtəch \
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 \ adjective
toucher noun

Synonyms for touch

Synonyms: Verb

feel

Synonyms: Noun

communication, contact, hold

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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

On July 10, one of the accusers made a police-monitored phone call to Gallegos, in which Gallegos spoke about touching him on multiple occasions, court records said. Nathan J. Fish, azcentral, "Chandler police: Baseball coach arrested on suspicion of molesting boys on team," 11 July 2018 Samuel was unable to hold me in place, and my virulent objection to him touching me at all caused the public relations staff to intervene. Marcus Hayes, Philly.com, "Since I was asked: LeSean McCoy handled his issues with me aggressively | Marcus Hayes," 11 July 2018 This is just the appetizer’: Harry Giles says he’s driven to improve after ejection Sacramento Make-A-Wish teen ‘touched and grateful’ to be honorary Kings dancer Bill Russell flipped off Vince Carter at a Kings game. Noel Harris, sacbee, "Why a national magazine says the young Kings could be the NBA’s ‘next’ big thing," 11 July 2018 Though Poland’s nativist government is hostile towards immigrants and, on occasion, the rule of law, foreign capital keeps coming and annual GDP growth has touched 5%. The Economist, "Central Europe’s Goldilocks economies," 5 July 2018 The video of the performance, which saw the mother and daughter touching Schwartz's hand and feet and crawling around his body, was captured by a spectator and led to protests claiming the exhibit promotes pedophilia. Houston Chronicle, "On the go: Pub crawls and Vince Young signs autographs," 3 July 2018 My Uncle Ralph now has Type 2 diabetes and is at risk for heart disease, so this health concern really touches me. Rebecca Dolgin, Woman's Day, "What You Don't Know About Heart Disease," 2 July 2018 And allowing themselves to be touched? Reeks of entrapment. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Was there something fishy about Stormy Daniels’s arrest?," 12 July 2018 Inside, my queasiness intensified, despite the high society touches that, of course, were unbecoming to a people’s republic. Thomas Swick, Longreads, "Letters from Trenton," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Instagram The pair have clearly kept in touch, as Martin visited Meghan over the weekend. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Weekend Plans Involved Close Friends and Her Perfect Avocado Toast," 21 Jan. 2019 In their book, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, registered dietitians Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch write about how to get back in touch with these cues and to use intuitive eating to make peace with food. SELF, "PSA: Healthy Eating Should Include Mental and Social Health, Too.," 11 Jan. 2019 Under this sky, take a look under the hood and get in touch with your innermost feelings. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's November Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 28 Oct. 2018 For touch-ups, try a concealer with it too, like It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout Full-Coverage Concealer ($28). Leah Prinzivalli, Glamour, "How to Get Rid of a Pimple Fast: 12 Dos & Don'ts of Fighting Acne," 17 Jan. 2019 Sweat and oil can cause makeup to slip off, so stash blotting papers in your prom-night clutch for touch-ups. Seventeen.com Editors, Seventeen, "50 Life-Changing Prom Beauty Tips You Haven't Heard Before," 19 Dec. 2018 The Makeup Routines Are Intense Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and Jennifer Hudson receive many hair and makeup touch-ups throughout the night. Alisa Wolfson, Country Living, "'The Voice' Behind-the-Scenes Secrets That No One Ever Knew," 15 Dec. 2018 Price tag: $900, with additional touch-ups every year. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "17 Over-the-Top Beauty Treatments to Try Before Your Wedding Day," 13 Dec. 2018 Lawless recommends using a quick-dry temporary touch-up spray that won't leave any sticky residue, such as L'Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up, to effectively conceal grays in seconds. Redbook, "How to Look Like You Just Left the Salon," 27 Nov. 2018

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

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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 \
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 \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with touch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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