verb (used with object)
- to strike the strings, keys, etc., of (a musical instrument) so as to cause it to sound.
- to play or perform (an air, notes, etc.) on a musical instrument.
verb (used without object)
- the act of approaching someone for money as a gift or a loan.
- the obtaining of money in this manner.
- the money obtained.
- a person considered from the standpoint of the relative ease with which he or she will lend money: I can always hit him for ten—he's an easy touch.
- an official mark put upon precious metal after testing to indicate its purity.
- a die, stamp, or the like for impressing such a mark.
- an identifying mark impressed on pewter by its maker.
- to represent or characterize precisely.
- to cause to ignite or explode.
- to give rise to; initiate: This incident will touch off another crisis.
- to mention a subject briefly or casually; treat of in passing: In his lecture he touched on the major aspects of the controversy.
- to come close to; approach.
- to relate or pertain to.
- to make minor changes or improvements in the appearance of.
- to modify or improve (a painting, photograph, etc.) by adding small strokes or making slight changes.
- to rouse by or as if by striking: This should touch up your memory.
Origin of touch
British Dictionary definitions for touch off (1 of 2)
verb (tr, adverb)
British Dictionary definitions for touch off (2 of 2)
- an official stamp on metal indicating standard purity
- the die stamp used to apply this markNow usually called: hallmark
- the act of asking for money as a loan or gift, often by devious means
- the money received in this way
- a person asked for money in this wayhe was an easy touch
- to finger (the keys or strings of an instrument)
- to play (a tune, piece of music, etc) in this way
Derived Formstouchable, adjectivetouchableness, nountoucher, nountouchless, adjective
Word Origin for touch
Medicine definitions for touch off
Related formstouch•a•ble adj.
Idioms and Phrases with touch off (1 of 2)
Cause to explode or fire; also, initiate, trigger. For example, The boys touched off a whole line of firecrackers, or These disclosures will touch off a public uproar. This idiom comes from early firearms, which were set off by putting a light to the touch-hole. Its figurative use dates from the late 1800s.
Depict very precisely, as in He touched off Teddy Roosevelt as well as it's ever been done. [Mid-1700s]
Idioms and Phrases with touch off (2 of 2)
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
- 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