Definition of


  1. (noun, event) the event of something coming in contact with the body
    the cooling touch of the night air
  2. (noun, cognition) the faculty by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body (especially the hands)
  3. (noun, communication) a suggestion of some quality
    he detected a ghost of a smile on her face
  4. (noun, attribute) a distinguishing style
  5. (noun, act) the act of putting two things together with no space between them
  6. (noun, quantity) a slight but appreciable amount
  7. (noun, communication) a communicative interaction
    he got in touch with his colleagues
  8. (noun, state) a slight attack of illness
  9. (noun, communication) the act of soliciting money (as a gift or loan)
  10. (noun, cognition) the sensation produced by pressure receptors in the skin
    the surface had a greasy feeling
  11. (noun, cognition) deftness in handling matters
  12. (noun, attribute) the feel of mechanical action
  13. (verb, contact) make physical contact with, come in contact with
    She never touched her husband
  14. (verb, perception) perceive via the tactile sense
  15. (verb, emotion) affect emotionally
    I was touched by your kind letter of sympathy
  16. (verb, stative) be relevant to
    My remark pertained to your earlier comments
  17. (verb, contact) be in direct physical contact with; make contact
    Their hands touched
    The wire must not contact the metal cover
    The surfaces contact at this point
  18. (verb, change) have an effect upon
  19. (verb, social) deal with; usually used with a form of negation
    The local Mafia won't touch gambling
  20. (verb, contact) cause to be in brief contact with
  21. (verb, stative) to extend as far as
    Can he reach?
    The chair must not touch the wall
  22. (verb, stative) be equal to in quality or ability
    Your performance doesn't even touch that of your colleagues
    Her persistence and ambition only matches that of her parents
  23. (verb, contact) tamper with
  24. (verb, communication) make a more or less disguised reference to
  25. (verb, cognition) comprehend
  26. (verb, consumption) consume
  27. (verb, change) color lightly
    the leaves were tinged red in November

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Touch

Derivations: touch, toucher, touching

Hyponyms: abut, act upon, adhere, adjoin, affect, apply, attach, border, bother, brush, buss, butt, butt against, butt on, capstone, catch, center, center on, chafe, cleave, cling, cohere, collide with, color, colour, common touch, complexion, concentrate on, contact, copestone, cover, creepiness, cutaneous sensation, dab, dig, discommode, disoblige, distort, edge, endanger, engage, environ, excite, expose, feel, finger, fingering, finishing touch, focus on, fray, fret, get, go for, grab, grazing, grope, handle, handling, haptic sensation, henna, hit, hitting, hold, hug, hydrolise, hydrolize, impinge on, incommode, inconvenience, influence, interest, involve, jab, kiss, lap, lean against, lean on, lick, light touch, manipulation, march, matter to, mouth, osculate, osculation, palm, palpate, palpation, pat, peril, physical contact, pick up, press, process, put out, queer, reach into, receive, redound, regard, repercuss, rest on, revolve about, revolve around, ring, rub, run into, scratch, scupper, shaving, skim, skim over, skimming, skin sensation, skirt, slam-dunk, snap, snatch, snog, snuff, spread over, stick, stimulate, strike, strike a blow, striking, stroke, stroking, subject, surround, tactual exploration, tag, tap, tell on, thumb, tickle, tickling, tincture, tinge, titillation, toe, touch, treat, trouble, upset, violate, work

Hypernyms: act, adeptness, adroitness, affect, alter, attack, be, care, change, color, color in, colorise, colorize, colour, colour in, colourise, colourize, communicating, communication, compete, comprehend, consume, contact, contend, deal, deed, deftness, exteroception, facility, fashion, feel, handle, have, hint, human action, human activity, impinging, impress, ingest, manage, manner, mode, modify, move, perceive, perception, proffer, proposition, quickness, small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity, solicitation, somatosense, strike, striking, style, suggest, suggestion, tactile property, take, take in, touch, understand, vie, way

Origin of the word Touch

  1. late 13c., from O.Fr. touchier "to touch, hit, knock" (11c.), from V.L. *toccare "to knock, strike" as a bell (cf. Sp. tocar, It. toccare), perhaps of imitative origin. Meaning "to get or borrow money" first recorded 1760. Touched "stirred emotionally" is from mid-14c.; touching "affecting the emotions" is from 1601. Touch and gomore
  2. c.1300, from O.Fr. touche "a touching," from touchier (see touch (v.)). Meaning "slight attack" (of an illness, etc.) is recorded from 1662. Sense of "skill or aptitude in some topic" is first recorded 1927. Soft touch "person easily manipulated" is recorded from 1940. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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