touching 1 of 3

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touching

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preposition

touching

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verb

present participle of touch
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Synonym Chooser

How is the word touching distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of touching are affecting, impressive, moving, pathetic, and poignant. While all these words mean "having the power to produce deep emotion," touching implies arousing tenderness or compassion.

the touching innocence in a child's eyes

How are the words affecting and moving related as synonyms of touching?

Affecting is close to moving but most often suggests pathos.

an affecting deathbed reunion

When could impressive be used to replace touching?

While the synonyms impressive and touching are close in meaning, impressive implies compelling attention, admiration, wonder, or conviction.

an impressive list of achievements

When might moving be a better fit than touching?

The words moving and touching can be used in similar contexts, but moving may apply to any strong emotional effect including thrilling, agitating, saddening, or calling forth pity or sympathy.

a moving appeal for contributions

When can pathetic be used instead of touching?

The meanings of pathetic and touching largely overlap; however, pathetic implies moving to pity or sometimes contempt.

pathetic attempts to justify misconduct

Where would poignant be a reasonable alternative to touching?

In some situations, the words poignant and touching are roughly equivalent. However, poignant applies to what keenly or sharply affects one's sensitivities.

a poignant documentary on the homeless

Thesaurus Entries Near touching

Cite this Entry

“Touching.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/touching. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

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