moved; stirred: They were very touched by your generosity.
slightly crazy; unbalanced: touched in the head.

Nearby words

  1. touch-type,
  2. touch-up,
  3. touchback,
  4. touchdown,
  5. touche,
  6. touched by, be,
  7. touched in the head,
  8. touchhole,
  9. touching,
  10. touchingly

Origin of touched

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at touch, -ed2



verb (used with object)

to put the hand, finger, etc., on or into contact with (something) to feel it: He touched the iron cautiously.
to come into contact with and perceive (something), as the hand or the like does.
to bring (the hand, finger, etc., or something held) into contact with something: She touched a match to the papers.
to give a slight tap or pat to with the hand, finger, etc.; strike or hit gently or lightly.
to come into or be in contact with.
Geometry. (of a line or surface) to be tangent to.
to be adjacent to or border on.
to come up to; reach; attain.
to attain equality with; compare with (usually used with a negative): a style that cannot touch that of Shakespeare.
to mark by strokes of the brush, pencil, or the like.
to mark or relieve slightly, as with color: a gray dress touched with blue.
to stop at (a place), as a ship: The ship touched shore several times during the cruise.
to treat or affect in some way by contact.
to affect as if by contact; tinge; imbue.
to affect with some feeling or emotion, especially tenderness, pity, gratitude, etc.: Their sufferings touched his heart.
to handle, use, or have to do with in any way (usually used with a negative): She can't touch the money until she's 21.
to eat or drink; consume; taste (usually used with a negative): He won't touch another drink.
to lay hands on, often in a violent manner: Don't you touch this child!
to deal with or treat in speech or writing.
to refer or allude to.
to pertain or relate to: a critic in all matters touching the kitchen.
to be a matter of importance to; make a difference to; affect: This grave decision touches all of us.
Metallurgy. to stamp (metal) as being of standard purity.
Slang. to apply to for money, or succeed in getting money from: He touched me for five dollars.
Slang. to steal from.
  1. to strike the strings, keys, etc., of (a musical instrument) so as to cause it to sound.
  2. to play or perform (an air, notes, etc.) on a musical instrument.

verb (used without object)

to place the hand, finger, etc., on or in contact with something.
to come into or be in contact.
to make a stop or a short call at a place, as a ship or those on board (usually followed by at).


the act or state of touching; state or fact of being touched.
that sense by which anything material is perceived by means of physical contact.
the quality of something touched that imparts a sensation: an object with a slimy touch.
a coming into or being in contact.
mental or moral perception, sensitivity, or understanding: He has a marvelous touch in dealing with people.
ability, skill, or dexterity; knack: to lose one's touch.
Fencing. the contact of the point of a foil or épée or the point or edge of the blade of a saber with a specified portion of the opponent's body, counting one point for the scorer.
close communication, agreement, sympathy, or the like: to be out of touch with reality; Let's keep in touch.
a slight stroke or blow.
a slight attack, as of illness or disease: a touch of rheumatism.
a slight added action or effort in doing or completing any piece of work: to provide the finishing touches.
manner of execution in artistic work.
the act or manner of touching or fingering a keyboard instrument.
the mode of action of the keys of an instrument, as of a piano or typewriter.
Change Ringing. a partial series of changes on a peal of bells.
a stroke or dash, as with a brush, pencil, or pen.
a detail in any artistic work.
a slight amount of some quality, attribute, etc.: a touch of sarcasm in his voice.
a slight quantity or degree: a touch of salt.
a distinguishing characteristic or trait: the touch of the master.
quality or kind in general.
an act of testing something.
something that serves as a test; touchstone.
  1. the act of approaching someone for money as a gift or a loan.
  2. the obtaining of money in this manner.
  3. the money obtained.
  4. 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.
Slang. theft.
  1. an official mark put upon precious metal after testing to indicate its purity.
  2. a die, stamp, or the like for impressing such a mark.
  3. an identifying mark impressed on pewter by its maker.
Soccer. the area outside the touchlines.
Rugby. either of the touchlines or the area outside of the touchlines.

Verb Phrases

touch down, (of an airplane) to come into contact with the ground; land.
touch off,
  1. to represent or characterize precisely.
  2. to cause to ignite or explode.
  3. to give rise to; initiate: This incident will touch off another crisis.
touch on/upon,
  1. to mention a subject briefly or casually; treat of in passing: In his lecture he touched on the major aspects of the controversy.
  2. to come close to; approach.
  3. to relate or pertain to.
touch up,
  1. to make minor changes or improvements in the appearance of.
  2. to modify or improve (a painting, photograph, etc.) by adding small strokes or making slight changes.
  3. to rouse by or as if by striking: This should touch up your memory.

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

Examples from the Web for touched

British Dictionary definitions for touched


adjective (postpositive)

moved to sympathy or emotion; affected
showing slight insanity



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)
  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
  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


(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
  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 touched
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for touched




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 touched


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.