noli me tangere

[ noh-lahy mee tan-juh-ree, noh-lee; Latin noh-lee me tahng-ge-re ]
/ ˈnoʊ laɪ mi ˈtæn dʒə ri, ˈnoʊ li; Latin ˈnoʊ li mɛ ˈtɑŋ gɛˌrɛ /


a person or thing that must not be touched or interfered with.
a picture representing Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection.
Also no·li-me-tan·ge·re. the touch-me-not.

Nearby words

  1. nol. pros.,
  2. nolan,
  3. nolde,
  4. nolde, emil,
  5. nolens volens,
  6. noli-me-tangere,
  7. nolichucky,
  8. noll,
  9. nolle prosequi,
  10. nollekens

Origin of noli me tangere

< Latin: do not touch me (Jesus' words to Mary Magdalene) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for noli-me-tangere

  • Noli-me-tangere, the Scotch fiddle, or other contagious disease.

    The Slang Dictionary|John Camden Hotten
  • True, she had her lovely little serene, holy, noli-me-tangere air; but I thought that would pass.

British Dictionary definitions for noli-me-tangere


/ (ˈnəʊlɪˌmeɪˈtæŋɡərɪ) /


a warning against interfering or against touching a person or thing
a work of art depicting Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene after His Resurrection
another name for touch-me-not
a cancerous ulcer affecting soft tissue and bone

Word Origin for noli-me-tangere

from Latin: do not touch me, the words spoken by Christ to Mary Magdalene (Vulgate, John 20:17)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for noli-me-tangere

noli me tangere

late 14c., "type of facial ulcer, lupus," Latin, literally "touch me not," from noli, imperative of nolle "to be unwilling" + me (see me) + tangere "to touch" (see tangent). Used over the years of various persons or things that must not be touched, especially "picture of Jesus as he appeared to Mary Magdalene" (1670s, see John 20:17) and "plant of the genus Impatiens" (1560s, so called because the ripe seed pods burst when touched).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper