To retouch something is to improve it by making small changes. You might retouch your photo to make your teeth look whiter before you post it on social media.

When you make edits or alterations to a photograph, a painting, or another artwork, you retouch them: "It's clear the artist decided to go back and retouch these early etchings." You might also retouch your friend's makeup or hairdo before the prom and then use computer software to digitally retouch the pictures you take of her. The French root, retoucher, means "touch again with a view to improving."

Definitions of retouch
  1. verb
    alter so as to produce a more desirable appearance
    “This photograph has been retouched!”
    synonyms: touch up
    see moresee less
    type of:
    make better or more attractive
  2. verb
    give retouches to (hair)
    retouch the roots”
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week