Idioms

    put the touch on, Informal. to try to borrow money from: Willie put the touch on me for another ten last night.
    touch base with. base1(def 36).

Origin of touch

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English to(u)chen < Old French tochier < Vulgar Latin *toccāre to knock, strike, touch, of expressive orig.; (noun) partly continuing Middle English touche state or act of touching < Old French, derivative of tochier, partly derivative of the v.
Related formstouch·a·ble, adjectivetouch·a·ble·ness, touch·a·bil·i·ty, nountouch·er, nountouch·less, adjectivein·ter·touch, verb (used without object)

Synonyms for touch

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for touch

Contemporary Examples of touch

Historical Examples of touch

  • But remember to touch your beaver where the hemlock boughs are low.

  • But how wonderful and quick my touch has got, and how kind is heaven there, sir!

  • "You cannot," said Philip, putting her gently aside, while she shrank from his touch.

    Malbone

    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • "You force me to touch on things I should have liked to keep hidden," said Austin.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • The touch, the choke in her voice, brought about Viviette's downfall.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke


British Dictionary definitions for touch

touch

noun

the sense by which the texture and other qualities of objects can be experienced when they come in contact with a part of the body surface, esp the tips of the fingersRelated adjectives: haptic, tactile, tactual
the quality of an object as perceived by this sense; feel; feeling
the act or an instance of something coming into contact with the body
a gentle push, tap, or caress
a small amount; hinta touch of sarcasm
a noticeable effect; influencethe house needed a woman's touch
any slight stroke or markwith a touch of his brush he captured the scene
characteristic manner or stylethe artist had a distinctive touch
a detail of some work, esp a literary or artistic workshe added a few finishing touches to the book
a slight attack, as of a diseasea touch of bronchitis
a specific ability or facilitythe champion appeared to have lost his touch
the state of being aware of a situation or in contact with someoneto get in touch with someone
the state of being in physical contact
a trial or test (esp in the phrase put to the touch)
rugby soccer the area outside the touchlines, beyond which the ball is out of play (esp in the phrase in touch)
archaic
  1. an official stamp on metal indicating standard purity
  2. the die stamp used to apply this markNow usually called: hallmark
a scoring hit in competitive fencing
an estimate of the amount of gold in an alloy as obtained by use of a touchstone
the technique of fingering a keyboard instrument
the quality of the action of a keyboard instrument with regard to the relative ease with which the keys may be depressedthis piano has a nice touch
bell-ringing any series of changes where the permutations are fewer in number than for a peal
slang
  1. the act of asking for money as a loan or gift, often by devious means
  2. the money received in this way
  3. a person asked for money in this wayhe was an easy touch

verb

(tr) to cause or permit a part of the body to come into contact with
(tr) to tap, feel, or strike, esp with the handdon't touch the cake!
to come or cause (something) to come into contact with (something else)their hands touched briefly; he touched the match to the fuse
(intr) to be in contact
(tr; usually used with a negative) to take hold of (a person or thing), esp in violencedon't touch the baby!
to be adjacent to (each other)the two properties touch
(tr) to move or disturb by handlingsomeone's touched my desk
(tr) to have an effect onthe war scarcely touched our town
(tr) to produce an emotional response inhis sad story touched her
(tr) to affect; concern
(tr; usually used with a negative) to partake of, eat, or drink
(tr; usually used with a negative) to handle or deal withI wouldn't touch that business
(when intr, often foll by on) to allude (to) briefly or in passingthe speech touched on several subjects
(tr) to tinge or tint slightlybrown hair touched with gold
(tr) to spoil or injure slightlyblackfly touched the flowers
(tr) to mark, as with a brush or pen
(tr) to compare to in quality or attainment; equal or matchthere's no-one to touch him
(tr) to reach or attainhe touched the high point in his career
(intr) to dock or stop brieflythe ship touches at Tenerife
(tr) slang to ask for a loan or gift of money from
rare
  1. to finger (the keys or strings of an instrument)
  2. to play (a tune, piece of music, etc) in this way
touch base to make contactSee base 1 (def. 26)
Derived Formstouchable, adjectivetouchableness, nountoucher, nountouchless, adjective

Word Origin for touch

C13: from Old French tochier, from Vulgar Latin toccāre (unattested) to strike, ring (a bell), probably imitative of a tapping sound
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 touch
v.

late 13c., from Old French touchier "to touch, hit, knock" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *toccare "to knock, strike" as a bell (cf. Spanish tocar, Italian toccare), perhaps of imitative origin. Meaning "to get or borrow money" first recorded 1760. Related: Touched; touching.

Touch and go (adj.) is recorded from 1812, apparently from the name of a tag-like game, first recorded 1650s. Touch football is first attested 1933. Touch-me-not (1590s) translates Latin noli-me-tangere.

n.

c.1300, from Old French touche "a touching," from touchier (see touch (v.)). Meaning "slight attack" (of an illness, etc.) is recorded from 1660s. Sense of "skill or aptitude in some topic" is first recorded 1927. Soft touch "person easily manipulated" is recorded from 1940.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

touch in Medicine

touch

[tŭch]

n.

The physiological sense by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body.
Digital examination.
Related formstouch•a•ble adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with touch

touch

In addition to the idioms beginning with touch

  • touch and go
  • touch base with
  • touch bottom
  • touch down
  • touched by, be
  • touched in the head
  • touch off
  • touch on
  • touch up

also see:

  • common touch
  • finishing touch
  • hit (touch) bottom
  • in touch
  • lose one's touch
  • lose touch
  • not touch with a ten-foot pole
  • out of touch
  • put the arm (touch) on
  • soft touch
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.