verb (used without object)

to burn or flare up like a torch.

verb (used with object)

to subject to the flame or light of a torch, as in order to burn, sear, solder, or illuminate.
Slang. to set fire to maliciously, especially in order to collect insurance.

Nearby words

  1. torana,
  2. torbanite,
  3. torbay,
  4. torbernite,
  5. torc,
  6. torch lily,
  7. torch singer,
  8. torch song,
  9. torch syndrome,
  10. torchbearer


    carry the/a torch for, Slang. to be in love with, especially to suffer from unrequited love for: He still carries a torch for his ex-wife.

Origin of torch

1250–1300; Middle English torche (noun) < Old French < Vulgar Latin *torca something twisted. See torque

Related formstorch·a·ble, adjectivetorch·less, adjectivetorch·like, adjective



verb (used with object)

to point (the joints between roofing slates) with a mixture of lime and hair.

Origin of torch

1840–50; < French torcher to plaster with a mixture of clay and chopped straw, derivative of torche a twist of straw. See torch1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for torching

British Dictionary definitions for torching



a small portable electric lamp powered by one or more dry batteriesUS and Canadian word: flashlight
a wooden or tow shaft dipped in wax or tallow and set alight
anything regarded as a source of enlightenment, guidance, etcthe torch of evangelism
any apparatus that burns with a hot flame for welding, brazing, or soldering
carry a torch for to be in love with, esp unrequitedly
put to the torch to set fire to; burn downthe looted monastery was put to the torch


(tr) slang to set fire to, esp deliberately as an act of arson
Derived Formstorchlike, adjective

Word Origin for torch

C13: from Old French torche handful of twisted straw, from Vulgar Latin torca (unattested), from Latin torquēre to twist

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 torching
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with torching


see carry a torch; pass the torch.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.