Common Senses: Tangere

Tangere means "to touch" in Latin. To touch up your vocabulary, tap these words: pathos, sentire
Here are links to more sensory stimulation: videre, specere, opsis, phone, audire, sonare

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. tangent
    a line that touches a curve at only one point
    Our word "touch" is from the Latin tangere, from which comes " tangent," and also "tag," an old touching game.Smith, David Eugene
    tangere (to touch) + ent (suffix forming adjectives)
    Tangram is a game that sounds and looks like it also comes from "tangere" because its object is to put seven flat shapes into specific designs without overlapping the pieces. But the more likely origin of the name is: tang (from the Tang Dynasty of China) + gram (suffix forming nouns about instruments for recording or something written).
  2. tangential
    of superficial relevance if any
    They all begin unfocused, the discussions abstract or tangential, the conversations meandering and often far off topic.Scientific American (Sep 9, 2013)
    tangere (to touch) + ent (suffix forming adjectives) + ial (suffix forming adjectives)
    Of the four single-word adjectives used to describe the nature of the discussions, "tangential" is the one most closely touching the topic. The other words have roots that suggest a lack of a central point or a movement away from a concrete, stable point.
  3. cotangent
    ratio of the adjacent to the opposite side of a right-angled triangle
    The only gleam of intelligence Old Cotangent showed was when he said that squaring the circle was too easy.James, Henry
    complement (that which completes) + tangere (to touch) + ent (suffix forming adjectives)
    The breakdown of the word suggests that "tangent" also functions as an adjective that is synonymous with "tangential." But here, "Cotangent" functions as a proper noun that refers to a character who enjoys geometry.
  4. tangible
    perceptible by the senses, especially the sense of touch
    This is also the easiest technique to utilize, because gifts come in many forms, from non-material compliments, to tangible material gifts.Time (May 14, 2014)
    tangere (to touch) + ible (suffix forming adjectives expressing ability or capacity)
    "Tangible" and "material" are both functioning as adjectives to describe "gifts" but one word would've been enough to make the point, especially since the sentence already sets up the contrast between "non-material compliments" and touchable gifts.
  5. intangible
    assets that are saleable though not material or physical
    Your sales team is responsible for applying the human factor to the equation—this intangible can make or break any deal.Forbes (Feb 10, 2014)
    in (not) + tangere (to touch) + ible (suffix forming adjectives expressing ability or capacity)
    The breakdown of the word suggests that it normally functions as an adjective, but here, it is used as a noun to refer to a valuable human quality that is untouchable and often indefinable.
  6. tact
    consideration in dealing with others
    This personal political situation, involving far more subtle loyalties, requires gentler tact yet an equally firm hand.The Guardian (Jul 24, 2013)
    "Tactus" is the past participle of "tangere" and means "a touch, handling, sense of touch."
    "Subtle" is an adjective often connected to tact; its Latin roots are: sub (under) + tela (web, net, warp of a fabric). This image suggests that tact should take on a gentle and careful touch to avoid breaking or getting caught in strands or threads.
  7. tactless
    lacking what is considerate in dealing with others
    The "touchiness" of the world in general affords tactless persons a perennial source of offended astonishment.Cholmondeley, Mary
    tactus (see note for "tact") + less (suffix meaning lacking)
    As this and the previous example sentences suggest, having tact requires knowing how gently or firmly to touch others. But this example sentence also makes the observation that people can be so sensitive or touchy that they become easy targets for the tactless to offend and shock.
  8. tactile
    producing a sensation of touch
    A sensory room contains lights and music and tactile objects to stimulate the senses.BBC (Dec 28, 2013)
    tactus (see note for "tact") + ile (suffix indicating ability or capacity)
    Compare with "tactual"--both definitions fit each adjective so the two are synonymous. The breakdowns of the words are also similar, but the meaning of the suffix "ile" suggests that "tactile" might be a better fit for the example sentence describing the evolution of primates.
  9. tactual
    of or relating to or proceeding from the sense of touch
    In the Primates the evolution of intellect and the evolution of tactual appendages go hand in hand.Tyndall, John
    tactus (see note for "tact") + al (suffix forming adjectives)
    The phrase "go hand in hand" evokes a literal image of primates holding hands, but it is used figuratively to refer to the cooperative development of intelligence and the sense of touch. The example sentence suggests that tactual exploration triggers factual ideation.
  10. intact
    lacking nothing essential, not damaged
    He is a man who has emerged from the rubble physically intact, though spiritually damaged.Los Angeles Times (May 24, 2014)
    in (not) + tactus (see note for "tact")
    The adjective also has a sexual connotation that applies to the competence of a man (being whole) or the virginity of a woman (being untouched).
  11. contact
    a communicative interaction
    However, doctors are discovering that, for appropriate patients, alternative forms of patient contact can be very effective: email, telephone, video-conferencing, etc.Forbes (May 27, 2014)
    com (together) + tactus (see note for "tact")
    The interactions between doctors and patients usually involve touching, but the example sentence emphasizes alternative forms of contact that focus more on communication across physical distances.
  12. contagion
    any disease easily transmitted by contact
    In the sci-fi thriller  Contagion, a new virus emerges from wildlife and jumps into human beings, wreaking havoc around the world.Time (Oct 16, 2013)
    com (together) + tangere (to touch) + ion (suffix forming nouns)
    The Latin meaning of "virus" comes from touchable things that seem easily avoidable to prevent contagion: poison, sap of plants, slimy liquid, a potent juice.
  13. contagious
    easily diffused or spread as from one person to another
    But if there can be epidemics of crime or epidemics of fashion, there must be all kinds of things just as contagious as viruses.The Tipping Point
    com (together) + tangere (to touch) + ous (suffix forming adjectives)
    Similar to "contagious" the word "epidemic" has a negative tone, but the breakdown into its Greek roots suggests otherwise: epi (among) + demos (people). Among the things that can be contagious epidemics are laughter and happiness.
  14. contiguous
    having a common boundary or edge
    It would be ideal if the protected areas were in contiguous blocks connecting ranchlands in one area to those in another.Scientific American (Feb 22, 2013)
    The Latin "contiguus" means "near, touching" and comes from the root of "contingere" which comes from: com (together) + tangere (to touch). The adjective can be used to describe common physical boundaries as well as events that are closely connected in time.
  15. contingent
    determined by conditions or circumstances that follow
    The two-year withdrawal plan for Afghanistan is contingent on the next Afghan president signing a security agreement with the U.S.US News (May 28, 2014)
    com (together) + tangere (to touch) + ent (suffix forming adjectives)
    The meaning of "contingent" is similar to an "if...then" scenario: If the first domino tips, then that would result in it touching the next domino so that both of them fall; if however the first domino does not tip, then both dominoes remain standing within touching distance but without affecting the other.

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