Something that is touching affects you emotionally—it makes you feel sad or tender. A touching video about baby hedgehogs might even make your stoic older sister cry.

The adjective touching comes from a particular meaning of the verb touch, "to affect or move mentally or emotionally," from the idea that something has "touched" your mind or heart. Your book report might describe the story you read as touching if it left you wiping away a tear.

Definitions of touching
  1. adjective
    arousing affect
    “his gratitude was simple and touching
    synonyms: affecting, poignant
    arousing or capable of arousing deep emotion
  2. noun
    the act of putting two things together with no space between them
    synonyms: touch
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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
    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
    touching something with the fingers
    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
    (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
    the action of bruising
    crash, smash
    the act of colliding with something
    (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
    a glancing contact with the ball off the edge of the cricket bat
    (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
    (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
    (American football) the act of catching a football by a player on the opposing team
    (American football) the act of catching a pass in football
    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
    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)
    a gentle affectionate stroking (or something resembling it)
    type of:
    act, deed, human action, human activity
    something that people do or cause to happen
  3. noun
    the event of something coming in contact with the body
    synonyms: touch
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    brush, light touch
    momentary contact
    a light touch
    type of:
    contact, impinging, striking
    the physical coming together of two or more things
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