touch

To touch is to come in contact with something, especially using your fingers. When your friend dares you to touch her pet spider, you'll find out what's stronger — your fear of spiders or your fear of looking like a wimp.

The verb touch also means to emotionally affect. At your grandparents' fiftieth anniversary party, it might touch you to see how much they clearly still love each other. The noun touch can mean a hint of something, or just a small amount. You might have a touch of a cold, but it isn't enough to keep you home in bed.

Primary Meanings of touch

1.
vn
make physical contact with, come in contact with
the faculty by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body (especially the hands)
2.
vn
affect emotionally
a slight but appreciable amount
3.
v
be relevant to
4.
n
the act of soliciting money (as a gift or loan)
Full Definitions of touch
1

v make physical contact with, come in contact with

Touch the stone for good luck”
“She never touched her husband”
Types:
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engage
get caught
toe
touch with the toe
pick up
take up by hand
hit, strike
produce by manipulating keys or strings of musical instruments, also metaphorically
finger, thumb
feel or handle with the fingers
feel, palpate
examine (a body part) by palpation
handle, palm
touch, lift, or hold with the hands
stroke
touch lightly and repeatedly, as with brushing motions
collide with, hit, impinge on, run into, strike
hit against; come into sudden contact with
brush
touch lightly and briefly
skim, skim over
move or pass swiftly and lightly over the surface of
hit
deal a blow to, either with the hand or with an instrument
strike
deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
buss, kiss, osculate, snog
touch with the lips or press the lips (against someone's mouth or other body part) as an expression of love, greeting, etc.
kiss
touch lightly or gently
mouth
touch with the mouth
press
exert pressure or force to or upon
tag
touch a player while he is holding the ball
stub
strike (one's toe) accidentally against an object
lock
become rigid or immoveable
field
catch or pick up (balls) in baseball or cricket
fumble
handle clumsily
manipulate
hold something in one's hands and move it
caress, fondle
touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
jab
strike or punch with quick and short blows
dab, pat
hit lightly
bunt, butt
to strike, thrust or shove against
ping
hit with a pinging noise
bang, spang
leap, jerk, bang
rear-end
collide with the rear end of
broadside
collide with the broad side of
clap
strike with the flat of the hand; usually in a friendly way, as in encouragement or greeting
connect
land on or hit solidly
spat
strike with a sound like that of falling rain
thud
strike with a dull sound
bottom
strike the ground, as with a ship's bottom
bottom out
hit the ground
knock, strike hard
deliver a sharp blow or push :"He knocked the glass clear across the room"
bump, knock
knock against with force or violence
cut down, down, knock down, pull down, push down
cause to come or go down
bump into, butt against, jar against, knock against, run into
collide violently with an obstacle
crease, graze, rake
scrape gently
spur
strike with a spur
flick
touch or hit with a light, quick blow
bang, slam
strike violently
lace into, lam into, lay into, pitch into, tear into
hit violently, as in an attack
beak, peck, pick
hit lightly with a picking motion
tap, tip
strike lightly
hew
strike with an axe; cut down, strike
sideswipe
strike from the side
kick
strike with the foot
swipe
strike with a swiping motion
smite
inflict a heavy blow on, with the hand, a tool, or a weapon
hook
hit with a hook
swat
hit swiftly with a violent blow
bash, bonk, bop, sock, whap, whop
hit hard
lash, whip
strike as if by whipping
beat
hit repeatedly
beat
strike (a part of one's own body) repeatedly, as in great emotion or in accompaniment to music
bean
hit on the head, especially with a pitched baseball
pop
hit or strike
catch, get
reach with a blow or hit in a particular spot
conk
hit, especially on the head
cosh
hit with a cosh, usually on the head
brain
hit on the head
blast, boom, nail, smash
hit hard
crack
hit forcefully; deal a hard blow, making a cracking noise
sandbag, stun
hit something or somebody as if with a sandbag
sclaff
strike (the ground) in making a sclaff
manhandle
handle roughly
clout
strike hard, especially with the fist
bat
strike with, or as if with a baseball bat
bat
use a bat
bat
have a turn at bat
cut
hit (a ball) with a spin so that it turns in the opposite direction
knap, rap
strike sharply
poke, pound, thump
hit hard with the hand, fist, or some heavy instrument
smack, thwack
deliver a hard blow to
belt
deliver a blow to
plug, punch
deliver a quick blow to
chop
strike sharply, as in some sports
slog, slug, swig
strike heavily, especially with the fist or a bat
wallop, whack, wham, whop
hit hard
biff, pommel, pummel
strike, usually with the fist
slap
hit with something flat, like a paddle or the open hand
sclaff
strike (a golf ball) such that the ground is scraped first
buff, buffet
strike, beat repeatedly
batter, buffet, knock about
strike against forcefully
box
hit with the fist
bludgeon, club
strike with a club or a bludgeon
cudgel, fustigate
strike with a cudgel
peck, smack
kiss lightly
lap, lick
pass the tongue over
squeeze
press firmly
clash, collide
crash together with violent impact
crush, mash, squash, squeeze, squelch
to compress with violence, out of natural shape or condition
cranch, craunch, crunch, grind
press or grind with a crushing noise
bear down, bear down on, drag down, press down on, weigh down
exert a force with a heavy weight
nab
tag the base runner to get him out
knuckle
press or rub with the knuckles
push
press against forcefully without moving
glance
hit at an angle

v perceive via the tactile sense

“Helen Keller felt the physical world by touching people and objects around her”
Type of:
comprehend, perceive
to become aware of through the senses

v cause to be in brief contact with

“He touched his toes to the horse's flanks”

v be in direct physical contact with; make contact

“The two buildings touch
“Their hands touched
Synonyms:
adjoin, contact, meet
converge, meet
be adjacent or come together
Types:
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cover, spread over
form a cover over
adhere, cleave, cling, cohere, stick
come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation
chafe, fray, fret, rub, scratch
cause friction
attach
be attached; be in contact with
hug
fit closely or tightly
abut, adjoin, border, butt, butt against, butt on, edge, march
lie adjacent to another or share a boundary
border, environ, ring, skirt, surround
extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle
lean against, lean on, rest on
rest on for support
flood
cover with liquid, usually water
bloody
cover with blood
mist, mist over
become covered with mist
glaciate
cover with ice or snow or a glacier
strew
cover; be dispersed over
grass, grass over
cover with grass
mold
fit tightly, follow the contours of
conglutinate
stick together
agglutinate
clump together; as of bacteria, red blood cells, etc.
cake, coat
form a coat over
drown, overwhelm, submerge
cover completely or make imperceptible
leech onto
admire boundlessly and follow around
fringe
decorate with or as if with a surrounding fringe
gird, girdle
put a girdle on or around
cloister
surround with a cloister
close in, enclose, inclose, shut in
surround completely
mantle
cover like a mantle
hem in
surround in a restrictive manner
cloak, clothe, drape, robe
cover as if with clothing
neighbor, neighbour
be located near or adjacent to
cloister
surround with a cloister, as of a garden
blanket
form a blanket-like cover (over)
carpet
form a carpet-like cover (over)
smother
form an impenetrable cover over
shroud
form a cover like a shroud

v to extend as far as

Synonyms:
extend to, reach
Types:
reach into
run into or up to
Type of:
be
occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere

v be equal to in quality or ability

“Your performance doesn't even touch that of your colleagues”
Synonyms:
equal, match, rival
equal, equalise, equalize, equate, match
make equal, uniform, corresponding, or matching
Type of:
compete, contend, vie
compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others

v tamper with

“Don't touch my CDs!”
Synonyms:
disturb
Types:
upset
disturb the balance or stability of
violate
destroy
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v consume

“She didn't touch her food all night”
Synonyms:
partake
Types:
receive
partake of the Holy Eucharist sacrament
Type of:
consume, have, ingest, take, take in
serve oneself to, or consume regularly

n the faculty by which external objects or forces are perceived through contact with the body (especially the hands)

“only sight and touch enable us to locate objects in the space around us”
Synonyms:
cutaneous senses, sense of touch, skin senses, touch modality
Type of:
exteroception
sensitivity to stimuli originating outside of the body
somatosense
any of the sensory systems that mediate sensations of pressure and tickle and warmth and cold and vibration and limb position and limb movement and pain

n the sensation produced by pressure receptors in the skin

“she likes the touch of silk on her skin”
Synonyms:
feeling, tactile sensation, tactual sensation, touch sensation
Types:
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creepiness
an uneasy sensation as of insects creeping on your skin
cutaneous sensation, haptic sensation, skin sensation
a sensation localized on the skin
tickle
a cutaneous sensation often resulting from light stroking
itch, itchiness, itching
an irritating cutaneous sensation that produces a desire to scratch
topognosia, topognosis
recognition of the location of a stimulus on the skin
urtication
a sensation of having been stung by nettles
Type of:
perception
the process of perceiving

n the event of something coming in contact with the body

“he longed for the touch of her hand”
“the cooling touch of the night air”
Synonyms:
touching
Types:
brush, light touch
momentary contact
stroke
a light touch
Type of:
contact, impinging, striking
the physical coming together of two or more things

n the act of putting two things together with no space between them

“at his touch the room filled with lights”
Synonyms:
touching
Types:
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contact, physical contact
the act of touching physically
dab, pat, tap
a light touch or stroke
hit, hitting, striking
the act of contacting one thing with another
dig, jab
the act of touching someone suddenly with your finger or elbow
kiss
a light glancing touch
buss, kiss, osculation
the act of caressing with the lips (or an instance thereof)
catch, grab, snap, snatch
the act of catching an object with the hands
handling, manipulation
the action of touching with the hands (or the skillful use of the hands) or by the use of mechanical means
fingering
touching something with the fingers
grope
the act of groping; and instance of groping
palpation, tactual exploration
a method of examination in which the examiner feels the size or shape or firmness or location of something (of body parts when the examiner is a health professional)
tickle, tickling, titillation
the act of tickling
stroke, stroking
a light touch with the hands
tag
(sports) the act of touching a player in a game (which changes their status in the game)
lap, lick
touching with the tongue
grazing, shaving, skimming
the act of brushing against while passing
rub, wipe
the act of rubbing or wiping
contusion
the action of bruising
crash, smash
the act of colliding with something
fielding
(baseball) handling the ball while playing in the field
fair ball
(baseball) a ball struck with the bat so that it stays between the lines (the foul lines) that define the width of the playing field
snick
a glancing contact with the ball off the edge of the cricket bat
bunt
(baseball) the act of hitting a baseball lightly without swinging the bat
fly, fly ball
(baseball) a hit that flies up in the air
ground ball, groundball, grounder, hopper
(baseball) a hit that travels along the ground
header
(soccer) the act of hitting the ball with your head
scorcher, screamer
a very hard hit ball
plunk, plunker
(baseball) hitting a baseball so that it drops suddenly
laying on
the act of contacting something with your hand
smack, smooch
an enthusiastic kiss
French kiss, deep kiss, soul kiss
an openmouthed kiss in which your tongue is inserted into the other's mouth
fair catch
(American football) a catch of a punt on the fly by a defensive player who has signalled that he will not run and so should not be tackled
interception
(American football) the act of catching a football by a player on the opposing team
reception
(American football) the act of catching a pass in football
rebound
the act of securing possession of the rebounding basketball after a missed shot
shoestring catch
(baseball) a running catch made near the ground
interlock, interlocking, mesh, meshing
the act of interlocking or meshing
ballottement
a palpatory technique for feeling a floating object in the body (especially for determining the position of a fetus by feeling the rebound of the fetus after a quick digital tap on the wall of the uterus)
caress
a gentle affectionate stroking (or something resembling it)
Type of:
act, deed, human action, human activity
something that people do or cause to happen

n the feel of mechanical action

“this piano has a wonderful touch
Type of:
feel, tactile property
a property perceived by touch

n a communicative interaction

“he got in touch with his colleagues”
Synonyms:
contact
Type of:
communicating, communication
the activity of communicating; the activity of conveying information
2

v affect emotionally

“I was touched by your kind letter of sympathy”
Synonyms:
stir
Types:
get
evoke an emotional response
Type of:
affect, impress, move, strike
have an emotional or cognitive impact upon

v have an effect upon

Synonyms:
affect, bear on, bear upon, impact, touch on
Types:
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strike a blow
affect adversely
repercuss
cause repercussions; have an unwanted effect
tell on
produce an effect or strain on somebody
redound
have an effect for good or ill
excite, stimulate
act as a stimulant
process, treat
subject to a process or treatment, with the aim of readying for some purpose, improving, or remedying a condition
hydrolise, hydrolize
make a compound react with water and undergo hydrolysis
color, colour, distort, tinge
affect as in thought or feeling
endanger, expose, peril, queer, scupper
put in a dangerous, disadvantageous, or difficult position
hit, strike
affect or afflict suddenly, usually adversely
subject
cause to experience or suffer or make liable or vulnerable to
bother, discommode, disoblige, incommode, inconvenience, put out, trouble
to cause inconvenience or discomfort to
act upon, influence, work
have and exert influence or effect
slam-dunk
make a forceful move against
propagate
cause to propagate, as by grafting or layering
bacterise, bacterize
subject to the action of bacteria
iodise, iodize
treat with iodine
nitrate
treat with nitric acid, so as to change an organic compound into a nitrate
tank
treat in a tank
aerate, oxygenate, oxygenise, oxygenize
impregnate, combine, or supply with oxygen
mercerise, mercerize
treat to strengthen and improve the luster
malt
treat with malt or malt extract
fluoridate, fluoridise, fluoridize
subject to fluoridation; treat with fluoride
creosote
treat with creosote
chlorinate
treat or combine with chlorine
carbonate
treat with carbon dioxide
camphorate
treat with camphor
bromate, brominate
treat with bromine
ammoniate
treat with ammonia
irradiate, ray
expose to radiation
scald
treat with boiling water
invigorate, quicken
give life or energy to
refine
treat or prepare so as to put in a usable condition
innervate
stimulate to action
irritate
excite to some characteristic action or condition, such as motion, contraction, or nervous impulse, by the application of a stimulus
nitrify, nitrogenise, nitrogenize
treat with nitrogen or a nitrogen compound
reverberate
treat, process, heat, melt, or refine in a reverberatory furnace
curry
treat by incorporating fat
seed
sprinkle with silver iodide particles to disperse and cause rain
dose
treat with an agent; add (an agent) to
sulfur, sulphur
treat with sulphur in order to preserve
vulcanise, vulcanize
subject to vulcanization
chrome
treat with a chromium compound
bituminise, bituminize
treat with bitumen
Agenise, Agenize
age or bleach flour with Agene (nitrogen trichloride)
run
cause to perform
carboxylate
treat (a chemical compound) with carboxyl or carboxylic acid
saccharify
convert into a simple soluble fermentable sugar by hydrolyzing a sugar derivative or complex carbohydrate
beneficiate
process (ores or other raw materials), as by reduction
prejudice, prepossess
influence (somebody's) opinion in advance
compromise
expose or make liable to danger, suspicion, or disrepute
digest
convert food into absorbable substances
vitriol
expose to the effects of vitriol or injure with vitriol
put
cause (someone) to undergo something
shipwreck
cause to experience shipwreck
refract
subject to refraction
expose
expose or make accessible to some action or influence
expose
expose to light, of photographic film
fume, fumigate
treat with fumes, expose to fumes, especially with the aim of disinfecting or eradicating pests
air-condition
control the humidity and temperature of
form, imprint
establish or impress firmly in the mind
militate
have force or influence; bring about an effect or change
manipulate, pull strings, pull wires
influence or control shrewdly or deviously
color, colour
modify or bias
swing, swing over
influence decisively
blackjack, blackmail, pressure
exert pressure on someone through threats
carry, persuade, sway
win approval or support for
get at
influence by corruption
fix
influence an event or its outcome by illegal means
distress, straiten
bring into difficulties or distress, especially financial hardship
dominate
be in control
incur
make oneself subject to; bring upon oneself; become liable to
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v color lightly

Synonyms:
tinct, tinge, tint
Types:
henna
apply henna to one's hair
tincture
stain or tint with a color
complexion
give a certain color to
Type of:
color, color in, colorise, colorize, colour, colour in, colourise, colourize
add color to

n a slight but appreciable amount

“this dish could use a touch of garlic”
Synonyms:
hint, jot, mite, pinch, soupcon, speck, tinge
Types:
snuff
a pinch of smokeless tobacco inhaled at a single time
Type of:
small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude

n a suggestion of some quality

“there was a touch of sarcasm in his tone”
Synonyms:
ghost, trace
Type of:
proffer, proposition, suggestion
a proposal offered for acceptance or rejection

n a slight attack of illness

“he has a touch of rheumatism”
Synonyms:
spot
Type of:
attack
a sudden occurrence of an uncontrollable condition

n a distinguishing style

“this room needs a woman's touch
Synonyms:
signature
Types:
common touch
the property of appealing to people in general (usually by appearing to have qualities in common with them)
Type of:
fashion, manner, mode, style, way
how something is done or how it happens

n deftness in handling matters

“he has a master's touch
Types:
capstone, copestone, finishing touch
a final touch; a crowning achievement; a culmination
Type of:
adeptness, adroitness, deftness, facility, quickness
skillful performance or ability without difficulty
3

v be relevant to

Synonyms:
bear on, come to, concern, have-to doe with, pertain, refer, relate, touch on
advert, allude
make a more or less disguised reference to
Types:
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center, center on, concentrate on, focus on, revolve about, revolve around
center upon
apply, go for, hold
be pertinent or relevant or applicable
affect, involve, regard
connect closely and often incriminatingly
interest, matter to
be of importance or consequence
implicate
bring into intimate and incriminating connection
fascinate, intrigue
cause to be interested or curious

v deal with; usually used with a form of negation

“I wouldn't touch her with a ten-foot pole”
“The local Mafia won't touch gambling”
Type of:
care, deal, handle, manage
be in charge of, act on, or dispose of

v make a more or less disguised reference to

Synonyms:
advert, allude
bear on, come to, concern, have-to doe with, pertain, refer, relate, touch on
be relevant to
Type of:
hint, suggest
drop a hint; intimate by a hint

v comprehend

“He could not touch the meaning of the poem”
Type of:
understand
know and comprehend the nature or meaning of
4

n the act of soliciting money (as a gift or loan)

“he watched the beggar trying to make a touch
Type of:
solicitation
an entreaty addressed to someone of superior status

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