Definition of retouch in English:



[with object]
  • Improve or repair (a painting, photograph, or other image) by making slight additions or alterations.

    ‘full-colour images can be retouched, enhanced, or colour-corrected’
    • ‘There, on display at newsstands from coast to coast, was a photo of the New American Family, looking for all the world like a Norman Rockwell painting retouched by Charles Addams.’
    • ‘Creating a collotype in which he hand retouched his gestural marks to give them the correct scale, and adding color notes in the margin, Hamilton layered it in a 40-color screenprint.’
    • ‘Yes, of course he was: he was consulting the very portfolios and notebooks where those copies were kept, retouching his early paintings, and even going to the Louvre to copy as late as 1897.’
    • ‘Thanks to its faster processor, consumers can retouch photos, talk with friends, and surf the Internet at the same time.’
    • ‘It should be remembered, however, that many copper plates survived the death of an artist such as Rembrandt, and were retouched and republished by various persons, in some cases for centuries.’
    • ‘Distinctions between what is recreated, retouched and invented digitally are difficult to discern.’
    • ‘He then applied a diluted oil-based, semi-opaque wash to soften the lines and then carefully retouched the details using dots made by a fine brush, before applying another very thin wash in a kind of sandwich, Franck says.’
    • ‘Sixty years before the Russian revolution, Abraham Lincoln credited a photographer with assisting in his electoral victory by retouching a portrait to shorten his neck and make him appear more youthful.’
    • ‘The camera sends the images into a computer network, where they are retouched, catalogued, and subjected to the wonders of technology.’
    • ‘That is why people fight for access to the laboratories where photographs are retouched and biographies are rewritten.’
    • ‘Penetrating sealers (mentioned under staining) penetrate the pores of the wood, so the finish wears as the wood wears and can be retouched with wax in heavy-traffic areas.’
    • ‘If needed, the image is digitally retouched to amplify contrast between the art work and its photographic matrix.’
    • ‘Hearing that Hargreaves had touched up the woman's face as well, he sent for the picture and found that the face had indeed been retouched.’
    • ‘Jabach is known to have retouched drawings in his collection, and Viatte suggests that all the drapery studies have suffered this fate.’
    • ‘He instructed the marquise in drawing and sometimes retouched her engravings.’
    • ‘In three adjoining rooms, thousands of images are scanned, color-corrected, digitally retouched, and readied for Web distribution.’
    • ‘I'm still using film, which I scan, retouch in Photo Shop, and print on an inkjet.’
    • ‘Heartfield had a production team to cut, retouch, add type, and otherwise make the photomontages, which makes him more of an art director.’
    • ‘Adobe Photoshop was originally created as a convenient and powerful way to retouch photos.’
    • ‘Justine says, ‘Everything is retouched, though I like to try to keep a ‘realness’ to my work.’
    update, bring up to date, bring into the twenty-first century, drag into the twenty-first century, lead into the twenty-first century, march into the twenty-first century, streamline, rationalize, technologize, overhaul, develop
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Late 17th century: probably from French retoucher.