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 touchable (audio) \ 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

Food was by the Kowloon restaurant and entertainment was provided by comedians Lenny Clarke, Steve Sweeney, and Tony V. The Greg Hill Foundation helps families touched by tragedy. BostonGlobe.com, "A night of leis and laughs for two great causes," 2 Sep. 2019 With his pass-catching ability - 27 receptions on 32 targets for 152 yards in 2018 - skills, Smith should be the recipient of at least 10 touches a game in 2019. oregonlive, "Fantasy Football 2019: Former Oregon Duck Royce Freeman among 10 sleepers at running back," 2 Sep. 2019 Forbes' billionaire list is renowned for its creative math—and Instagram, like faces touched by fillers, is known for artful distortions. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Elusive Price—and Prize—of Fame on the Internet," 20 Aug. 2019 Scalzo's father assures him that won't be the case and the shoulder injury ends up not being serious, but the show doesn't touch on the legitimate reasons Scalzo might have had to fear such a development. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "In Netflix's QB1, Kentucky football's Nik Scalzo shows the high stress of recruiting," 16 Aug. 2019 The lawsuit was filed by nine female students and alumnae who said they were harassed and touched inappropriately by professors William Kelley, Paul Whalen and Todd Heatherton. Washington Post, "Dartmouth announces new sexual misconduct policy," 13 Aug. 2019 The loathing for Atlanta United was even on international display during the MLS All-Star Game last week at Exploria Stadium, when boos rained down from the stands every time an Atlanta player touched the ball. Mike Bianchi, Pro Soccer USA, "Atlanta United crushes Orlando City’s dreams — again," 8 Aug. 2019 Holding close those touched by her being & her gift. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "In Toni Morrison’s own words: Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Kamala Harris among many paying tribute with favorite quotes," 6 Aug. 2019 Hints of a broader organization not touched by law enforcement stings hover beneath the surface. USA Today, "Sex trafficking is behind the lucrative illicit massage business. Why police can't stop it.," 30 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Less than three minutes later, DeSmit showed great touch after running onto a pass from McCarthy inside the penalty area. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "National No. 1 McDonogh girls soccer passes early test with 3-0 win over Good Counsel," 4 Sep. 2019 Players can also look forward to strafe dribbling, which lets players move with more agility, as well as active touch tackling and new animations that reward you for pulling off excellent defensive plays. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "FIFA 20 is headed to the field on Sept. 27; you can preorder it right now," 4 Sep. 2019 Bill Moore, who edited the film, wields a masterful touch. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Folk legend Jack Elliott rambles onto the big screen and into town," 3 Sep. 2019 There is also a subtly ominous soundtrack, which signals without trumpeting them what are likely to be dire developments up ahead, and is among the touches that add an inescapably noirish element to the film. Daphne Merkin, The New Republic, "Cold Case Hammarskjöld’s Artful Paranoia," 3 Sep. 2019 The government insists that technology and light-touch regulation means a hard border will not be necessary. NBC News, "Brexit: Risk experts fear violent consequences of a no-deal E. U. withdrawal," 1 Sep. 2019 Dorothy enjoyed her life and always kept in close touch with her loved ones and many friends. courant.com, "Dorothy Rolfe," 1 Sep. 2019 Le’Veon Bell won’t surpass 300 touches or score more than eight touchdowns while playing in 13 games for the Jets. San Diego Union-Tribune, "10 bold predictions for the 2019 fantasy football season," 1 Sep. 2019 Credit Zellweger, who gives Garland a sympathetic human touch. Mara Reinstein, Billboard, "A Star is Re-Born! Renee Zellweger Shines as Judy Garland in 'Judy' Biopic," 31 Aug. 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

6 Sep 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 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

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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