- Touch, one of the five senses along with taste, smell, hearing and seeing, is defined as the act you do when you hold, caress, feel or otherwise encounter something with your hand.
An example of touch is what you do when you put your hand on someone's arm.
- To touch is to use your hand to feel, move, operate or otherwise encounter something.
- An example of touch is the action you do when you tap someone's shoulder.
- An example of touch is when you hit a key on the keyboard of your computer.
- to put the hand, the finger, or some other part of the body on, so as to feel; perceive by the sense of feeling
- to make contact with by means of something regarded as an extension of oneself: to touch a snake with a stick, one's shoe, etc.
- to bring into contact with something else: to touch a match to kindling
- Folklore to lay the hand on (a person with scrofula), as some kings once did, to effect a cure
- to be or come into contact with
- to border on; adjoin
- to strike lightly
- to be effective on contact; have a physical effect on: usually used in the negative: water won't touch these grease spots
- to injure slightly: frost touched the plants
- to give a light tint, aspect, etc. to: used chiefly in the past participle: clouds touched with pink
- to lay hands on; handle; use
- to handle roughly or molest
- to taste or partake of: usually used in the negative: didn't touch his supper
- to come up to; reach; attain
- to compare with; equal; rival: usually used in the negative: cooking that can't touch hers
- to take or make use of without permission or wrongly; misappropriate
- to deal with or refer to, esp. in a light or passing way; mention
- to have to do with; affect; concern: a subject that touches our welfare
- to arouse an emotion in, esp. one of sympathy, gratitude, etc.
- to hurt the feelings of; pain: touched him to the quick
- Slang to ask for, or get by asking, a loan or gift of money from
- to strike the keys of, pluck the strings of, etc. (a musical instrument)
- to play (a few notes, an air, etc.)
- Geom. to be tangent to
Origin of touchMiddle English touchen ; from Old French tochier (Fr toucher) ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form toccare ; from an unverified form tok, light blow, of echoic origin, originally
- to touch a person or thing
- to be or come in contact
- to come near to something; verge (on or upon)
- to pertain; bear (on or upon)
- to treat a topic slightly or in passing: with on or upon
- to stop briefly or land (at a port, etc.) during a voyage
- Geom. to be tangent
- a touching or being touched; specif.,
- a light tap, stroke, etc.
- a delicate stroke made with a brush in painting, etc.
- the sense by which physical objects are felt; tactile sense
- a sensation caused by touching, esp. one that is characteristic of a particular substance or texture; tactile quality; feel
- a mental capacity analogous to the sense of touch; mental or moral sensitivity: she has a nice touch with difficult people
- a special or characteristic quality, skill, or manner: he lost his touch
- an effect of being touched; specif.,
- a mark, impression, etc. left by touching
- a minor change or improvement: a few finishing touches
- a very small amount, degree, etc.; specif.,
- a trace, tinge, etc.: a touch of humor
- a slight attack: a touch of the flu
- contact or communication: to lose touch with reality, to keep in touch with friends
- the act of asking for a loan or gift of money; also, the act of getting such a loan or gift by asking: to make a touch
- money so gotten
- a person with reference to the ease with which money can be so gotten from him or her
- the manner in which a performer strikes the keys or the strings of an instrument: a delicate touch
- the manner in which the action of a piano, etc. responds to the fingers: a piano with a heavy touch
- in bell ringing, a set of changes less than a peal
- the part of the field outside the sidelines
- to represent accurately or aptly
- to make explode or detonate; fire
- to initiate (esp. a violent action or reaction); set off
- to stimulate or rouse, as by a tap or light blow
- to make minor changes or improvements in
- to iron, or press, lightly
- Fencing touched: said in acknowledging that one's opponent has scored a point by a touch
- used to acknowledge a successful point in debating or a witty retort
Origin of touchéFr, past participle : see touch
verbtouched, touch·ing, touch·es
- To cause or permit a part of the body, especially the hand or fingers, to come in contact with so as to feel: reached out and touched the smooth stone.
- a. To bring something into light contact with: touched the sore spot with a probe.b. To bring (one thing) into light contact with something else: grounded the radio by touching a wire to it; touching fire to a fuse.
- To press or push lightly; tap: touched a control to improve the TV picture; touched 19 on the phone to get room service.
- To lay hands on in violence: I never touched him!
- To eat or drink; taste: She didn't touch her food.
- To disturb or move by handling: Just don't touch anything in my room!
- a. To meet without going beyond; adjoin: the ridge where his property touches mine.b. Mathematics To be tangent to.c. To come up to; reach: when the thermometer touches 90°.d. To match in quality; equal: Rival artists can't touch her work at its best.
- To deal with, especially in passing; treat briefly or allusively: some remarks touching recent events.
- To be pertinent to; concern: environmental problems that touch us all.
- To affect the emotions of; move to tender response: an appeal that touched us deeply.
- To injure slightly: plants touched by frost.
- To color slightly; tinge: a white petal touched with pink.
- a. To draw with light strokes.b. To change or improve by adding fine lines or strokes.
- To stamp (tested metal).
- Slang To wheedle a loan or handout from: touched a friend for five dollars.
- a. Archaic To strike or pluck the keys or strings of (a musical instrument).b. To play (a musical piece).
- To touch someone or something.
- To be or come into contact: Don't let the live wires touch.
- a. The act or an instance of touching.b. A light push; a tap: an electric switch that requires just a touch.c. Sports An instance of contacting or propelling the ball or puck: scored on the first touch.
- The physiological sense by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body.
- A sensation experienced in touching something with a characteristic texture: felt the touch of snowflakes on her face.
- A discernible mark or effect left by contact with something.
- A small change or addition, or the effect achieved by it: Candlelight provided just the right touch.
- A suggestion, hint, or tinge: a touch of jealousy.
- A mild attack: a touch of the flu.
- A small amount; a dash: a touch of paprika.
- a. A manner or technique of striking the keys of a keyboard instrument: He played briskly with a light touch.b. The resistance to pressure characteristic of the keys of a keyboard: an old piano with uneven touch.
- An ability to propel a ball a desired distance; control or accuracy: a golfer with no touch around the green.
- A facility; a knack: retained his touch as a carpenter in his retirement.
- A characteristic way of doing things: recognized my friend's touch in the choice of the card.
- The state of being in contact or communication: kept in touch with several classmates; out of touch with current trends.
- An official stamp indicating the quality of a metal product.
- Slang a. The act of approaching someone for a loan or handout.b. A prospect for a loan or handout: a generous person, a soft touch for beggars.
- Sports a. The area just outside the sidelines in soccer or just outside and including the sidelines in Rugby.b. Touch football.
Origin of touchMiddle English touchen, from Old French touchier, ultimately from Vulgar Latin *toccare.
(third-person singular simple present touches, present participle touching, simple past and past participle touched)
- Primarily physical senses.
- To make physical contact with; to bring the hand, finger or other part of the body into contact with. [from 14th c.]
- I touched her face softly.
- To come into (involuntary) contact with; to meet or intersect. [from 14th c.]
- Sitting on the bench, the hem of her skirt touched the ground.
- (intransitive) To come into physical contact, or to be in physical contact. [from 14th c.]
- They stood next to each other, their shoulders touching.
- (intransitive) To make physical contact with a thing. [from 14th c.]
- Please can I have a look, if I promise not to touch?
- To physically disturb; to interfere with, molest, or attempt to harm through contact. [from 14th c.]
- If you touch her, I'll kill you.
- To physically affect in specific ways implied by context. [from 15th c.]
- Frankly, this wood's so strong that sandpaper won't touch it.
- To consume, or otherwise use. [from 15th c.]
- Are you all right? You've hardly touched your lunch.
- (intransitive) Of a ship or its passengers: to land, to make a short stop (at). [from 16th c.]
- (now historical) To lay hands on (someone suffering from scrofula) as a form of cure, as formerly practised by English and French monarchs. [from 17th c.]
- (reflexive) To sexually excite with the fingers; to finger or masturbate. [from 20th c.]
- Her parents had caught her touching herself when she was fifteen.
- To make physical contact with; to bring the hand, finger or other part of the body into contact with. [from 14th c.]
- (intransitive, nautical) To be brought, as a sail, so close to the wind that its weather leech shakes.
- To imbue or endow with a specific quality. [from 14th c.]
- My grandfather, as many people know, was touched with greatness.
- (archaic) To deal with in speech or writing; to mention briefly, to allude to. [from 14th c.]
- (intransitive) To deal with in speech or writing; briefly to speak or write (on or upon something). [from 14th c.]
- To concern, to have to do with. [14th-19th c.]
- To affect emotionally; to bring about tender or painful feelings in. [from 14th c.]
- Stefan was touched by the song's message of hope.
- (dated) To affect in a negative way, especially only slightly. [from 16th c.]
- He had been drinking over lunch, and was clearly touched.
- (Scottish history) To give royal assent to by touching it with the sceptre. [from 17th c.]
- The bill was finally touched after many hours of deliberation.
- To obtain money from, usually by borrowing (from a friend). [from 18th c.]
- I was running short, so I touched old Bertie for a fiver.
- (always passive) To disturb the mental functions of; to make somewhat insane; often followed with "in the head". [from 18th c.]
- You must be touched if you think I'm taking your advice.
- To be on the level of; to approach in excellence or quality. [from 19th c.]
- (computing) To mark (a file or document) as having been modified.
- to touch an instrument of music
- An act of touching, especially with the hand or finger.
- Suddenly, in the crowd, I felt a touch at my shoulder.
- The faculty or sense of perception by physical contact.
- With the lights out, she had to rely on touch to find her desk.
- The style or technique with which one plays a musical instrument.
- He performed one of Ravel's piano concertos with a wonderfully light and playful touch.
- A distinguishing feature or characteristic.
- Clever touches like this are what make her such a brilliant writer.
- A little bit; a small amount.
- Move it left just a touch and it will be perfect.
- The part of a sports field beyond the touchlines or goal-lines.
- He got the ball, and kicked it straight out into touch.
- A relationship of close communication or understanding.
- He promised to keep in touch while he was away.
- The ability to perform a task well; aptitude.
- I used to be a great chess player but I've lost my touch.
From Middle English touchen, tochen, from Old French tochier ("to touch"; > Modern French toucher; compare French doublet toquer (“to offend, bother, harass")), from Vulgar Latin *toccÄre (“to knock, strike, offend"), from Old Frankish *tokkÅn, *tukkÅn (“to knock, strike, touch"), from Proto-Germanic *tukkÅnÄ…, *tukkijanÄ… (“to draw, jerk, knock, strike, offend"), from Proto-Indo-European *dukn-, *dewk- (“to draw, pull, lead"). Cognate with Old High German zochhÅn, zuhhÅn ("to grasp, take, seize, snatch"; > German zucken (“to jerk, flinch")), Low German tokken, tukken (“to fidget, twitch, pull up, entice"), Middle Dutch tocken, tucken ("to touch, entice"; > Dutch tokkelen (“to strum, pluck")), Old English tucian, tÅ«cian ("to disturb, mistreat, ill-treat; offend; afflict, harass, vex; punish, torment"; > English tuck). Compare also Old Frisian tetzia, tetsia (“to seize, appropriate to oneself"), Gothic ð„ðŒ´ðŒºðŒ°ðŒ½ (tekan, “to touch"), Old Norse taka (“to touch, grasp"), Middle Low German tacken (“to touch"), Old English tacan (“to touch, take"). Outside Germanic, cognate to Albanian cek (“to touch"). More at tuck, take.