• synonyms


[tak-til, -tahyl]
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  1. of, pertaining to, endowed with, or affecting the sense of touch.
  2. perceptible to the touch; tangible.
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Origin of tactile

1605–15; < Latin tāctilis tangible, equivalent to tāct(us) (past participle of tangere to touch) + -ilis -ile
Related formstac·til·i·ty [tak-til-i-tee] /tækˈtɪl ɪ ti/, nounnon·tac·tile, adjectivenon·tac·til·i·ty, nounun·tac·tile, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for tactile


  1. of, relating to, affecting, or having a sense of toucha tactile organ; tactile stimuli
  2. rare capable of being touched; tangible
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Derived Formstactility (tækˈtɪlɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin tactilis, from tangere to touch
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 tactile


1610s, "perceptible to touch," from French tactile, from Latin tactilis "tangible, that may be touched," from tactus, past participle of tangere "to touch" (see tangent). Meaning "of or pertaining to touch" is attested from 1650s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tactile in Medicine


(tăktəl, -tīl′)
  1. Perceptible to the sense of touch; tangible.
  2. Used for feeling.
  3. Of, relating to, or proceeding from the sense of touch; tactual.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

tactile in Science


[tăktəl, tăktīl′]
  1. Used for or sensitive to touch.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.