torch

A torch is a handheld light. Although flashlights are sometimes called "torches," technically a torch has a burning flame.

Torch can also be used as a verb indicating that something has been purposely set on fire. For example, arsonists have been known to torch empty buildings just for fun. This meaning dates to 1931. The noun form of torch has been around a lot longer. In the late 13th century torch came into English from the Old French word torche, or "twisted thing," which was a piece of wax-dipped rope.

Definitions of torch
  1. noun
    a light usually carried in the hand; consists of some flammable substance
    see moresee less
    types:
    flambeau
    a flaming torch (such as are used in processions at night)
    type of:
    light, light source
    any device serving as a source of illumination
  2. noun
    a small portable battery-powered electric lamp
    synonyms: flashlight
    see moresee less
    types:
    penlight
    a small flashlight resembling a fountain pen
    type of:
    electric lamp
    a lamp powered by electricity
  3. noun
    a burner that mixes air and gas to produce a very hot flame
    synonyms: blowlamp, blowtorch
    see moresee less
    types:
    oxyacetylene torch
    a blowtorch that burns oxyacetylene
    type of:
    burner
    an apparatus for burning fuel (or refuse)
  4. verb
    burn maliciously, as by arson
    see moresee less
    type of:
    burn, burn down, fire
    destroy by fire
  5. noun
    tall-stalked very woolly mullein with densely packed yellow flowers; ancient Greeks and Romans dipped the stalks in tallow for funeral torches
    synonyms: Aaron's rod, Verbascum thapsus, common mullein, flannel mullein, great mullein, woolly mullein
    see moresee less
    type of:
    flannel leaf, mullein, velvet plant
    any of various plants of the genus Verbascum having large usually woolly leaves and terminal spikes of yellow or white or purplish flowers
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