Definition of touch in English:



[with object]
  • 1Come into or be in contact with.

    ‘he leaned back so that only two legs of his chair touched the floor’
    • ‘She sat straight in her chair, the small of her back never touching the chair.’
    • ‘Lie on the floor, face down, toes touching the ground and elbows positioned below your shoulders.’
    • ‘His feet weren't quite touching the top of the roof.’
    • ‘Descend until your left knee bends 90 degrees and your right knee nearly touches the floor.’
    • ‘She was still hanging over the edge of the bunk, the ends of her hair nearly touching my covers.’
    • ‘Of course, in my dreams I neither escape nor do I falter and stumble - I run hard, but my feet don't quite touch the ground, so I don't actually move.’
    • ‘His arms remained stretched out above him, his knees were almost, but not quite, touching the floor.’
    • ‘And he's the only man I've ever seen who could sit in a chair and touch both elbows on the floor.’
    • ‘Her raven hair was brushed down nearly touching her shoulders.’
    • ‘Then their lips touched for just a moment and then they drew back slightly.’
    • ‘Clearings exhibited large quantities of grapes that crept along from shrub to shrub, their huge bunches of fruit nearly touching the ground.’
    • ‘The long sleeves widened and ended in points that did not quite touch the ground.’
    • ‘Samantha had remained erect, very still, and dry-eyed, her back not touching the witness chair.’
    • ‘He was incredibly professional looking, his black and gray robes nearly touching the floor.’
    • ‘His head hung low, with his chin nearly touching his chest.’
    • ‘She was curled up in a cozy little ball with her arms around her knees, nightshirt trailing beneath her like a ghostly shroud, not quite touching the floor.’
    • ‘Its majestic branches drooped dramatically, some nearly touching the ground, but all providing a cozy little curtain whenever the crew decided to hang around at its grassy base.’
    • ‘Knees bent fully, her skirt flares like a golden fan nearly touching the floor.’
    be in contact, be in contact with, come into contact, come into contact with, come together, come together with, meet, join, connect, converge, converge with, be contiguous, be contiguous with, border, border on, be against, be up against, link up, link up with, adjoin, abut, neighbour
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Bring one's hand or another part of one's body into contact with.
      ‘he touched a strand of her hair’
      ‘Andrew touched him on the shoulder’
      • ‘He took in a deep breath, touching my body gently, tenderly… hesitantly.’
      • ‘Nowadays, you know, my children are very aware, it's like you know, this is my body and you can't touch it.’
      • ‘She said the move, however, attracted call boys who began shouting and touching her body instead of helping her.’
      • ‘None of the police officers at the scene said they had touched the body.’
      • ‘A mother who picks up an affected new-born baby suddenly discovers she has left a trail of blisters across its body - just by touching it gently.’
      • ‘Stealthily I moved in, until I was so close I could have actually touched the little body that lay motionless in the grass in front of me.’
      • ‘I can't stand to even touch my own body, to wash, even get dressed.’
      • ‘It is by virtue of this principle that the doctor who treats him, the nurse who cares for him, even the relative or friend or neighbour who comes in to look after him will commit no wrong when he or she touches his body.’
      • ‘I felt slender fingers touch my chin and brought it upwards to meet his beautiful eyes.’
      • ‘She reached out to him, her whole body quivering, and touched his hand.’
      • ‘When he finally died, they touched his body as they bound him in a sheet, feeling the paper thin skin, almost touching bone.’
      • ‘He didn't grip her tightly but barely let his fingers touch her body.’
      • ‘He was a bit too close for comfort, but it felt good to feel his body occasionally touching mine.’
      • ‘Her face was cold and lifeless… it was just like touching a dead body.’
      • ‘I imagined just touching his weakened body, and it breaking into shards like a china doll.’
      • ‘He feels the officers watching as he touches the body with his latex-gloved hand.’
      press lightly, tap, pat, nudge, prod, poke
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    2. 1.2 Come or bring into mutual contact.
      no object ‘for a moment their fingers touched’
      with object ‘we touched wheels and nearly came off the road’
      • ‘Right before our lips touched, he jumped back and pulled his hand away as if he suddenly realized what was about to happen.’
      • ‘The moment their lips touched, Kynan's inner battle was lost.’
      • ‘Their lips touched softly and fused into a long, slow embrace.’
      • ‘It felt like an eternity before Lena would release her hold, but the moment their lips touched and their eyes closed, time lost all meaning.’
      • ‘Finally, their lips touched and for a moment, Tyler found himself in a haze.’
      • ‘How many times had he wished that the moments their fingers touched, their shoulders brushed, their eyes met, that they could tell each other what the both already knew?’
      • ‘Our fingers touched, and electricity crackled in the night.’
      • ‘Their hands touched slightly and Ann pulled back as though she had been burned.’
      • ‘The air around them seemed to be charged with electricity as their lips touched.’
      • ‘Walking into the youth room, where the senior high Sunday school class met, my mind instantly recalled the moment our lips touched.’
      • ‘I felt a shiver run up my spine as our shoulders touched, and I moved away from him slightly.’
      • ‘He held her hand until only their fingertips touched, then the distance became too great and the contact was lost.’
      • ‘For a brief second their lips touched in a light kiss, the caress of each other sending shivers down their spins.’
      • ‘But the moment their lips touched, he knew something inside of him had changed.’
      • ‘Their hands touched slightly when they went to grab their drinks.’
      • ‘Before their lips touched, however, he hesitated slightly and looked at Molly to make sure she was okay with this.’
      • ‘She hands him back his credit card, and their fingers touch for a moment.’
      • ‘Their fingers touched momentarily, but it sent a familiar tingling through him.’
      • ‘They reached, and for one agonising moment they touched fingers…’
      • ‘The moment our lips touched, it was like a dam breaking and he grabbed me, kissing me hard, pushing me back against the bookcase.’
    3. 1.3with object and adverbial of direction Strike (a ball) lightly in a specified direction.
      ‘he touched back a cross-field ball’
      • ‘Within a minute of the restart, Keeler was on target again to give Dorchester the lead, touching the ball past Wilson after being put clear in the box.’
      • ‘The supporting Rob Bourne was tackled almost on the line. A ruck was formed, and hooker Matt Hartley touched the ball down to score an unconverted try.’
      • ‘Superb play from Ballack, who robbed Fabregas and then touched the ball past him to earn a time-wasting free-kick.’
      • ‘A cross from Pat Gaughan found Wayne Crossley and he touched the ball into the bottom corner.’
    4. 1.4Geometry Be tangent to (a curve or surface) at a certain point.
  • 2Handle in order to interfere with, alter, or otherwise affect.

    ‘I didn't play her records or touch any of her stuff’
    • ‘I hadn't touched the gear handle or flaps after the shot, and, therefore, reasoned the gear and flaps still were down.’
    • ‘We have found them in beds, hidden in children's rooms, in cellars with locked doors that do not look as though they have been touched for 30 years.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, these are dangerous animals and should not be touched or interfered with in any way by divers.’
    • ‘Blogger's new image feature has screwed up my template which I haven't touched in years.’
    • ‘Education chiefs in York have pledged not to touch the amount of money going to schools, despite planned budget cuts of £884,000.’
    • ‘McLaren were also fined even though the contents of the box were not touched and were legal.’
    • ‘King Charles Court had not been touched for 30 years.’
    handle, hold, pick up, move
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    1. 2.1 Cause harm to (someone)
      ‘I've got friends who'll pull strings—nobody will dare touch me’
      • ‘It wasn't that the government had left a legal loophole before 1974, whereby you could put a bomb in a pub and they couldn't touch you for it.’
      • ‘After writing this article I could get into my car, strap a pork pie to my head and sing the national anthem while chugging down the motorway at a cool 70 mph and they could not touch me for it.’
      • ‘Her brother Ephes has murderous tendencies towards anyone who dares to touch her.’
      • ‘My stepmom didn't dare to touch me anymore and it's still the same between me and my dad.’
      • ‘As far as Kip knew, no one in Pete's neighborhood had touched him since, but Pete was always careful to sleep over at Kip's house after a late game.’
      • ‘There had been talk among their generals to bring her here before, but none had dared to touch her.’
      • ‘‘I don't see why you're so concerned,’ he spat back, unable to control his words, ‘he'd never touch you for your brother's sake.’’
      • ‘If they dare to touch me again, they will see what will happen to them.’
      • ‘Perceptions gathered during the consultation process include resentment about policing methods and that Asian young men in gangs are alleged to boast that police dare not touch them for fear they would riot.’
      • ‘An enormous hate wells up in her for the man who would dare to touch her mother; the woman who works herself almost to death to provide for her child.’
      • ‘But Alexander did not leave, he came closer, but did not dare to touch me.’
      • ‘‘The only one good thing about Kyle being shot at a party where several people where killed is that no one can touch him for all of the police that will be around him’ Blaze explained to the rest.’
      • ‘We'd make sure they never touched this generation of students.’
      • ‘The fearsome, spotted creature was a kitten in his hands and ruthless to anyone else that dared to touch her.’
      • ‘It can be flown in all shapes and sizes, there is no right way up, as there is with the Union flag; you can stick it in an office window and they can't touch you for it.’
      • ‘If you try to harm me, or touch me, you may suffer a worse fate.’
      • ‘Just smear some on your neck and I promise you, no vampire will touch you for a decade.’
      • ‘If you dared touch her you are as good as dead and that is by my law!’
      • ‘There were reports of people hitting people but nobody touched anybody.’
      • ‘I'm going to fight if you touch me or hurt me or do harm to my family.’
    2. 2.2usually with negative Consume or use (food, drink, money, etc.)
      ‘the pint by his right hand was hardly touched’
      ‘in three years I haven't touched a cent of the money’
      • ‘You can't touch your pension pot until you're at least fifty, which gives it time to grow.’
      • ‘When he leaves each day, you clear the dishes but can't touch the tip.’
      • ‘Your investment mix would be limited, and you wouldn't be able to touch your money or borrow against it until you retire.’
      • ‘Are we still not touching money today because it's dirty?’
      • ‘If your employer goes bust, it can not touch your pension fund, but you may not get as much as you had originally thought.’
      • ‘But you can only take a quarter of the accumulated fund as a tax-free lump sum and you can't touch any of the money until you retire - or you're 50 at least.’
      • ‘She spent most of her time under the settee, pressed up as tight into the corner as she could, and hardly touched her food.’
      • ‘‘We don't want to touch the money, because we aren't the middlemen,’ Leonard said.’
      • ‘I won't be touching this money for perhaps 25 years, so it's all going into the stock market.’
      • ‘We hardly touched our wine and it was all I could to keep my eyes open.’
      • ‘Pensions are a great way to save for the future because you can't touch the money until you retire.’
      • ‘Since you cannot touch the money until you retire, you no longer have a rainy-day fund, or a down payment for a house.’
      • ‘That means a 35-year-old woman who quits her job to raise kids can't touch the money for 25 years.’
      • ‘I wouldn't know, I didn't touch any food or drink from breakfast onwards.’
      • ‘After one sip he put down the glass; he has not touched a drink for 18 months.’
      • ‘So Quiney can't touch the money at all unless he puts something in.’
      • ‘The Deep has managed to build up credit worth £2.9m, but because it is a registered charity, does not pay tax, and therefore cannot touch the money.’
      • ‘From the very beginning, I knew that you were never even gonna touch this money.’
      • ‘You may not touch the funds saved in a retirement annuity before you are 55 years old.’
      • ‘True, it is hard for a monk not to touch money and to live without the comforts of this world.’
      taste, consume, eat, drink, take, partake of
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    3. 2.3with negative Used to indicate that something is avoided or rejected.
      ‘he was good only for the jobs that nobody else would touch’
      • ‘They do not want even to touch social and economic rights.’
      • ‘I even came to him with that Faulkner book, which nobody would touch.’
      • ‘Mind you losing my job didn't do much for my reputation because no-one would touch me for the next three years.’
      • ‘Is there value to certain types of non-nutty Internet speculation that the mainstream media, for the most part, refuse to touch?’
      • ‘But there were some things we didn't want to touch, like paedophilia.’
      • ‘I don't touch anything involved with electricity, for example.’
      • ‘They are even afraid to touch Shakespeare for its vast scope of interpretations and description, and there is nothing more tiring than a poor teacher with a Shakespeare volume.’
      • ‘He went to Africa hoping to cover ‘an anticipated blossoming of democracy across the continent’, but in four years never touched the subject.’
      • ‘Hollywood was late to catch on, not least because no-one in the Cold War days would have touched a movie about two communists such as Kahlo and Rivera.’
      • ‘TV would not touch him for punditry duties, fearful of what he might say, and hence there was no glorious retirement into the public life of a celebrity, of the sort which his playing career so richly deserved.’
      • ‘What's more, they'll never touch stock like this again either.’
      • ‘The result will create fear at the Today programme, where there should be pride. As so many times before, they were there with a story that nobody else would touch.’
      be associated with, concern oneself with, involve oneself in, involve oneself with, get involved in, get involved with, have something to do with, have dealings with, deal with, handle, be a party to
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  • 3Affect or concern.

    ‘a tenth of state companies have been touched by privatization’
    • ‘However, stress seems to be at an almost epidemic level, touching all levels of society.’
    • ‘Nobody can fail to be touched by the plight of the two murdered girls in Soham and the ordeal of their families, friends and all those touched by this tragedy.’
    • ‘Anyone whose life has been touched by cancer will be aware of the vitally important work of Macmillan nurses.’
    • ‘The international jurisprudence to which we have referred does not touch this problem that we are concerned with, does it?’
    • ‘Williams' plan is to raise awareness about ecological issues by touching the lives of students along his route, through school talks and media events.’
    • ‘The third issue concerns the question of repayment of legal aid, which touches the question of whether legal aid in a particular case will be a grant or be something more in the nature of a loan.’
    • ‘But the teaching also touched sentient beings as moral agents, as agents capable of affecting the welfare not only of themselves but of others as well.’
    • ‘Powered by the breath, this massage is a dynamic dance of the spirit that touches many different levels of consciousness.’
    • ‘Healthcare is a matter of concern in most countries and one that touches everybody in some way.’
    • ‘This was a concert for those touched by dispossession and resistance.’
    • ‘When one talks about reforms in the Muslim community, none of the important organisations touch these issues.’
    • ‘Your listeners should have the feeling at the end of your concert that something inside them has been touched and changed.’
    • ‘Before long, GPS will be touching our lives in so many positive ways that we'll wonder how we ever lived without it.’
    • ‘Thanks for a great analysis touching many of the important bases.’
    • ‘It will come to touch all our lives in a profound manner, and will figure prominently in all we think and do at all levels of civic life for a very long time.’
    • ‘Drug abuse and crime now touch all levels of society.’
    • ‘The senior undergraduate course in American constitutional law touches a host of moral issues buffeting our country today.’
    • ‘Howe doesn't see the extended Internet really touching consumers in a major way until 2007, due to the expense.’
    • ‘It's like titillation value was more important than ability to touch or affect other people's lives.’
    • ‘What has been labelled moral evil or human evil or sin touches every sphere of human activity.’
    affect, have an effect on, concern, involve, have a bearing on, be relevant to, be pertinent to
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    1. 3.1 (of a quality or expression) be or become visible or apparent in.
      ‘the voice was touched by hysteria’
      ‘a wry smile touched his lips’
      • ‘I watched him, quietly, with a gentle smile touching my lips.’
      • ‘She whispered, a faint smile touching her lips, it was coming back.’
      • ‘She held up her hands, a ghost of a smile touching her lips.’
      • ‘She slid her seatbelt on, a smile touching her lips as she started the car, scooting her seat forward since she had shorter legs.’
      • ‘An unidentifiable expression touches Michael's features, then he lets his eyelids fall shut and rotates his head away from us on the pillow.’
      • ‘He looked at her strangely, a faint smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘Nick was leaning against the wall with an amused smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘His face was peaceful, a faint smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘He was staring at Cael, a smile touching his lips, as the latter took a step back, away from him.’
      • ‘He answered honestly, a small ironic smile touching his lips as he realized the double meaning behind his words.’
      • ‘She shook her head, a shy smile touching her lips when she looked away from him.’
      • ‘She looked down at his hand, bringing it up to her chest, next to her head, a soft smile touching her lips.’
      • ‘‘You don't have to stay on the floor the whole way,’ he said, a smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘Thomas frowned and shook his head, a minute smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘Tanya bounded down the stairs, the slightest of smiles touching her lips as she recalled the previous night.’
      • ‘A wry smile touched Ame's lips as she ran her fingers over the faded image, eyes softening.’
      • ‘Remembering the Legendary Master's words after David had fallen, Viridian cannot stop the smile from touching her lips.’
      • ‘He lowered his hand, a small smiled touching his lips.’
      • ‘Her eyes were closed, and a slight smile was touching her lips.’
      • ‘His expression touching bewilderment, he nevertheless returned my mother's overpowering embrace with a smile and genuine goodbye.’
  • 4Produce feelings of affection, gratitude, or sympathy in.

    ‘she was touched by her friend's loyalty’
    • ‘I just wanted to extend my thanks to you for all of the wonderful books you've written, your words have touched both my mind and heart.’
    • ‘I think your words have touched my heart completely.’
    • ‘One of them, dressed in a violet pyjama and kurta, walked elegantly on the stage and greeted the students, who were touched by his appearance.’
    • ‘Dylan is so touched by her kind words, and comes out from behind the bushes, to the shock of everyone sitting there.’
    • ‘One thing was the same, however; the words touched them deeply and went straight to their hearts.’
    • ‘His words touched Callie, who didn't miss the tremor in his voice.’
    • ‘One of them, named Song, was deeply touched by the words that described his miserable life counter to his warm heart, bringing tears to her eyes.’
    • ‘She was surprised to have been so touched by his words.’
    • ‘Her words touched my heart and the whole world seemed to crush me then.’
    • ‘Kim took all of what Levi had said in slowly, the words touching her heart.’
    • ‘His words touched my heart, as though he were speaking to me personally.’
    • ‘We remember well his sermon at the pope's funeral in Rome, how his words touched our hearts and the hearts of millions.’
    • ‘She'd been touched by his words, his teachings, and had found herself swept along in the wake of his passage.’
    • ‘Jesus' words touched her heart and set her on the way of transformation.’
    • ‘Her words had touched something deep within him, something bizarre and strange that frightened him.’
    • ‘He wanted to break down in front of her and show her how those simple words had touched his soul.’
    • ‘His wife, who arranged the whole deal, kept trying to talk to him, but he couldn't take his eyes off Tommy Lee, who looked touched by the affection the dude had for him.’
    • ‘It was homemade, and the words touched my heart.’
    • ‘Emma's family have been touched by the students' fund-raising.’
    • ‘Teach your teachers and leaders to pray before class starts, asking God to guide their words and touch the hearts of their students.’
    affected, softened, moved, stirred, swayed, aroused, impressed, influenced, warmed, impassioned, upset, disturbed, distressed
    affect, move, stir, arouse, leave an impression on, make an impression on, impress, have an impact on, have an effect on
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  • 5informal Reach (a specified level or amount)

    ‘sales touched twenty grand last year’
    • ‘I know that no one touches a Level Ten in real life, but for me, that line is the only reason I still continue to run or fly.’
    • ‘Software exports have touched Rs.5,841 crores this year, compared to last year's Rs.4,200 crores.’
    • ‘At the same time, India's imports from China touched 1.74 billion US dollars, up 72 per cent.’
    • ‘At one point in the day, the rupiah touched 10,135 per dollar before closing at a three-month low of 10,025.’
    • ‘The currency briefly touched 8.2700 on that day, a gain of 0.08 percent.’
    • ‘With elections round the corner, the irritation is bound to touch nightmarish levels.’
    • ‘The city houses a population of seven million, which is slated to touch 8.8 million in 2015.’
    • ‘From any standard this level is said to be touching the poverty line, but statistics show that despite the government's claims poverty is on the rise.’
    • ‘Auto component exports from India to our global operations have touched euro 72 million during the year 2003.’
    • ‘But within a year, Yelena touched 4.10 metres at the World Youth Games.’
    • ‘With temperatures touching the 40s, it was not an easy task and, by the end of the week, we all smelled of sun cream and sweat.’
    • ‘He was confident that the growth rate would touch a high of nine per cent during the last two quarters of the current year itself.’
    • ‘The rush on commodities stretched into the gold market, where prices touched 18-year highs.’
    • ‘While doubling the female literacy rates, during this decade, the male literacy rates touched the 75.49 per cent mark.’
    • ‘As the temperatures touched the 80s, there was a typical end of pre-season feel about the opening exchanges.’
    • ‘The housing loan, the key component of the advance portfolio, touched the level of Rs 110 crore.’
    • ‘The yen, meanwhile, held in check by Japan's central bank, can only manage a 41-month high, touching levels last seen in late 2000.’
    • ‘The GDP growth rate touched new heights every quarter.’
    • ‘The foreign currency assets also saw a similar increase of $169 million to touch $1,03,384 million.’
    • ‘The total storage volume for RHW facilities in Sumida City touched 9,500 cubic metres by that date.’
    reach, attain, arrive at, come to, make
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    1. 5.1usually with negative Be comparable to in quality or excellence.
      ‘there's no one who can touch him at lightweight judo’
      • ‘As to Ronnie, that dude is by far the best bodybuilder on Earth; he is in a class by himself, and no one will be able to touch him for years to come.’
      • ‘No one can touch them for the sheer beauty and perfection their sport can provide, certainly not serial champions such as Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry.’
      • ‘The two men in occupancy for England are Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand - and when Brown is in this form neither can touch him for poise, pace and reading of the game.’
      • ‘Chris [Cormier] can't touch Flex for symmetry and structure, and that's why I expect a lighter and better Wheeler to finish a strong second behind Ronnie.’
      • ‘None of them, however, was able to touch Daru-brahman for as soon as they started, their chisels broke and fell to pieces.’
      • ‘Define your agenda in terms of freedom, security, identity and democracy - ‘and no one can touch you for it’.’
      • ‘There's no one who can touch Noble for flights of nonsensical fancy.’
      • ‘At 45, Kennedy has spent one year short of half his life in parliament, and no other party leader can touch him for popularity; from integrity to personal appeal, he leads in the polls.’
      • ‘Over the past five years, few teams can touch them for number of tries scored and appetite for attacking play.’
      • ‘But when it comes to building lovable robots, no-on can touch Sony for cuteness (and no, they're not on sale yet).’
      compare with, be on a par with, equal, match, be a match for, be in the same class as, be in the same league as, be on an equal footing with, parallel, rival, come near, get near, approach, come up to, come close to, get close to, measure up against, measure up to
      View synonyms
  • 6touch someone forinformal Ask someone for (money or some other commodity) as a loan or gift.

    ‘he touched me for his fare’
    • ‘The least expensive model will touch you for a couple of hundred bucks.’
    • ‘So in a fit of sentimentality and with the keen realization that the guy still has a couple hundred grand that you haven't touched him for yet, you name your first born after it.’
    • ‘Seeing as how you're being so generous and all, maybe I could touch you for a few bob - er, I mean bucks.’
    • ‘You can touch Evan for the occasional meal or drinks but a million bucks is crossing the line.’
    • ‘Our old school, like many fee-paying establishments, has devised a way of reconnecting with its old pupils as they approach the stage in life when there would be some point in touching them for a donation to one of its projects.’
    • ‘Sasha, a charity worker, is more interested in cosying up to big fish than touching them for their money.’
    ask, approach
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  • 7touch something inArt
    Lightly mark in features or other details with a brush or pencil.


  • 1An act of touching someone or something.

    ‘her touch on his shoulder was hesitant’
    mass noun ‘expressions of love through words and touch’
    in singular ‘manipulate images on the screen at the touch of a key’
    • ‘At one stage, the cellular service providers presented a wide range of information services at the touch of key and enhanced memory and so on.’
    • ‘At the touch of his hand, all the tension dissipated from Robin's body.’
    • ‘Now thanks to a children's charity he can leap up and applaud because the new wheelchair rises at the touch of a button.’
    • ‘He jumped at the touch of my hand to his bare skin.’
    • ‘It was about three feet wide, six feet tall, and the doors were all sliding glass which slid open at the touch of a button.’
    • ‘At the touch of his hand, she turned to look at him and screamed.’
    • ‘He jumped at the touch of the cold water and I apologized for it being so cold.’
    • ‘Those travelling by train from Sligo railway station can now get their tickets at the touch of a screen.’
    • ‘At the touch of a button on a special panel, visitors can activate the speaking exhibit and decide how rude they want the award-winning TV presenter to be.’
    • ‘A strange feeling thrilled the lusty youth at the touch of her warm hand, and almost involuntarily his eyes sought to meet those of the young maiden.’
    • ‘Alex jumps at the touch of Robert's hand on his shoulder.’
    • ‘At the touch of his hand, there was a slight wince of pain.’
    • ‘And the potential was certainly there via an amazing high-tech tuxedo that transforms its wearer into a super-hero at the touch of a button.’
    • ‘Stine was about to say something back, but at the touch of my hand, his eyes slowly closed.’
    • ‘He ran his fingers across it wondering what it was supposed to mean, but at the touch of his hand words suddenly appeared.’
    • ‘Blair opened his eyes at the touch of a hand on his forehead.’
    • ‘The whole way my eyes were burning at the memory of how he had flinched at the touch of a gentle hand.’
    • ‘It's frankly unbelievable that at the touch of a button, I can choose between live or near-live performances from a host of acts at the world's greatest music festival.’
    • ‘Blonde turned to black, touches turned to kisses, and my tears gradually ceased.’
    • ‘She shrugged away at the touch of my hand, and continued her tale.’
    press, tap, pat, nudge, prod, poke, push, glance, flick
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    1. 1.1mass noun The faculty of perception through physical contact, especially with the fingers.
      ‘reading by touch’
      • ‘We're looking for the reduction in unnecessary infection, most of which are transmitted by contact or touch.’
      • ‘Even if one is blessed with the senses of touch, smell, speech and hearing, it is sight that gives shape to imagination.’
      • ‘Born blind, she is possessed of an incredible beauty and an amazingly heightened sense of hearing and touch.’
      • ‘Choosing whole fish is a sensory experience that involves touch, sight and smell.’
      • ‘They were doing this with their hands in the dark with just a flashlight, and just using their senses of touch, smell and sight.’
      • ‘Reassurance also came in the form of touch and physical closeness during the biopsy.’
      • ‘Physical touch, affection, and the messiness of caring for an uncoordinated person did not come easily.’
      • ‘There must have been grooves cut into the metal - perceptible only by touch.’
      • ‘The wall will include different pieces of artwork to stimulate various senses including touch, smell, sight and sound.’
      • ‘But for those of us who practise and experience physical touch as a part of our lives, it is truly a powerful way of appreciating and accepting others.’
      • ‘A client may provide clues about her cultural perceptions of space and touch.’
      • ‘Our brain gets stimulatory inputs through the special sensory stimuli of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste.’
      • ‘Her hearing and sense of touch were perfect if not a bit muddled but for the life of her she could not move one muscle.’
      • ‘Finally, users report enhanced pleasure from physical sensations, especially the sense of touch.’
      • ‘The feel of the fabric and the wood on the skin combines the sense of touch and sight so that sexuality is intertwined with violence to the body.’
      • ‘They have poor vision but a very good sense of smell and touch.’
      • ‘This being the case, I sometimes can't quite ‘get’ my partner's aversion to physical touch.’
      • ‘You see, I don't have much of a physical sense of touch, but I can feel things.’
      • ‘Sensation arises from contact or touch, illustrated by a man and woman embracing.’
      • ‘Instead, many urged a renewed alliance of the faculties, with touch as their tutor, guide, and ultimate arbiter.’
      feeling, feel, sense of touch, contact, tactile sense, tactility
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2mass noun A musician's manner of playing keys or strings.
      • ‘These guys refresh classical music with their subtle touch, their accessible grooves, and a tiny klezmer edge.’
      • ‘Bolet's touch, velvety yet penetrating, is a miracle, and he caresses each phrase as if it is taken from an operatic aria.’
      • ‘Otherwise, the dying hot air balloon and giant bird sequences benefit most from Herrmann's deft musical touch.’
      • ‘The Raindrop Prelude had the requisite lightness of touch.’
      • ‘Here Engel's steely touch yet emotional warmth were ideally channelled.’
      • ‘Retention of a naturally compact hand through early release of selected notes and judicious use of staccato touch is a potent technique.’
      • ‘What makes Jansons unique in his métier is the intricacy of his musical touch.’
      • ‘Information is included on staccato touches and the two-note slur touch.’
      • ‘Piau here has a lightness of touch which sits perfectly with the Mozart.’
      • ‘On stringed instruments, articulation relies on the type of bowing, and in wind playing largely on tonguing, while in keyboard playing it depends on touch.’
      • ‘With his lighter touch and easier manner, Tubridy has turned it into a fluent, pleasant interlude.’
      • ‘Brendel hasn't the kind of touch I am aiming for, but has such wonderful musicality.’
      • ‘The glories of his phrasing and touch in the slow movements are where he shines through.’
      • ‘The performances are lusty and emotional, and shouts or shrill whistling add the requisite folksy touch.’
      • ‘Skoogh plays them beautifully, approaching the first three intermezzi with a relative lightness of touch and keeping them moving.’
      • ‘The admirable Japanese pianist, Haruko Seki, here applies her refreshing lightness of touch to some of the solo piano pieces.’
      • ‘Legato is not necessarily a physical connection but an aural effect, a sweetness of sound, determined by the character of touch.’
      • ‘His tone is jeweled and his touch always poetic; he makes little effort to vary it in the name of stylistic authenticity.’
      • ‘He sweeps through the Debussy pieces with a nonchalance that is almost disarming but his keyboard touch is indeed lithe and very beautiful.’
      • ‘Her Chopinesque touch brought elegance to the movement's lovely second subject.’
    3. 1.3mass noun The manner in which a musical instrument's keys or strings respond to being played.
      ‘Viennese instruments with their too delicate touch’
    4. 1.4 A light stroke with a pen, pencil, etc.
      • ‘A touch of paint is given to the objects to provide special characteristics.’
      • ‘Burningham really knows how to convey fatigue with the lightest of touches (the strokes of pen that make the eyes do much of the work).’
      • ‘Incremental in approach, painstaking in process, the drawings coax a range of associations from the touch of the pencil.’
      • ‘He portrays his wife with the lightest of touches, using red chalk, heightened with white in soft, feathery strokes which evince the profound French influence on his art.’
      • ‘Finally, the tiny details were added by the deft pencil, filling in the gaps with intricate strokes in the very lightest of touches…’
      press, tap, pat, nudge, prod, poke, push, glance, flick
      View synonyms
  • 2A small amount; a trace.

    ‘add a touch of vinegar’
    ‘he retired to bed with a touch of flu’
    • ‘A touch of self-obsession can be slightly forgiven in this case then.’
    • ‘A touch of Superstar Complacency had set in, I thought - which is a bit rich when you haven't even released your first single yet.’
    • ‘A touch of color to the cheeks, a little lipstick, maybe some eye shadow and mascara-makeup seems harmless enough.’
    • ‘A touch of irresponsibility isn't necessarily a bad thing.’
    • ‘A touch of first night nerves hit the more experienced actors hardest, as one might expect but no doubt they disappeared as the week progressed.’
    • ‘A touch of humility before embarking on these lectures would also not come amiss.’
    • ‘A touch of sweetness is a good thing in her book too.’
    • ‘A touch of ethnic jewellery completes a uniform that is cool, spaced-out and completely conventional.’
    • ‘A touch of cold in the air has brought the winter anglers out.’
    • ‘A touch of embarrassment swept over Rebecca as she remembered their last encounter and she could not bring herself to meet his eyes.’
    • ‘A touch of mascara, a pinch of blush, a dab of lip gloss, and I was set to go.’
    • ‘A touch of Mardi Gras with a carnival type atmosphere was the end result and children of all ages had a memorable experience on this special occasion in Tubbercurry.’
    • ‘A touch of mace or nutmeg is the only other thing needed.’
    • ‘A touch of playfulness here and there dominates the divine characters.’
    • ‘A touch of uncertainty and anxiety clearly permeated the chilly autumnal air.’
    • ‘A touch of breeze stirred a late hatch of flies; occasionally there was the soft plop of a sated brown trout.’
    • ‘I then added a quick touch of mascara and light pink lip stick.’
    • ‘A touch of cinnamon or nutmeg mixed with plain low fat yogurt and brown sugar makes a refreshing dressing for a fresh fruit salad.’
    • ‘A touch of arrogant confidence is part of the mix for competitive success.’
    • ‘A touch of the seaside was even brought to the show with a debut appearance from the Southport donkeys.’
    small amount, trace, bit, suggestion, suspicion, hint, scintilla, tinge, tincture, whiff, whisper, overtone, undertone, nuance, murmur, colouring, breath, vein
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A small distinctive detail or feature.
      ‘the film's most inventive touch’
      • ‘Little elements of character development also add a nice touch.’
      • ‘Also offered is lunchtime delivery service, which, if you happen to work in the area, is a nice touch - call for details.’
      • ‘I think hiring a drag queen would also be a nice touch.’
      • ‘In homage to the location, the 37 bedrooms feature many seaside touches.’
      • ‘The rather abstract and distant creator of the Bible text is humanized by the preacher's narrative details and poetic touches.’
      • ‘As art school and 70s as it sounds, it has some clever and inventive touches - Blyth had a strong visual sense early on.’
      • ‘While a little light in content, this was an interesting feature and a nice touch.’
      • ‘The boards would be a nice touch, but they'd ruin the aerodynamics, so perhaps better additions are a chalk-striped suit, fedora, and spats to your wardrobe.’
      • ‘The live music is definitely a nice touch though.’
      • ‘The case is solid and well finished, with a number of nice additional touches.’
      • ‘The use of props and scenery is very inventive, there are nice little touches and stunning visual effects.’
      • ‘I really like the feature, and think it is a nice touch, as well as a time saver.’
      • ‘It is a nice touch, but doesn't really fit with the feature presentation.’
      • ‘This is a nice touch, as it allows the viewer deeper access into the reporters' experiences.’
      • ‘There are also a few nice unexpected touches, such as a list of the benefits of making a donation to charity or some other philanthropic gesture.’
      • ‘A nice touch is the addition of plasma tv screens to watch sporting events while you play.’
      • ‘Many houses had their window and door features highlighted with contrasting colours which is a nice touch.’
      • ‘The story is simple, but it's the details and weird touches Lynch lays in that makes it complex and darkly disturbing.’
      • ‘I recommend the extended version VHS for other nice touches like that.’
      • ‘The layout is cool and spacious, contemporary without overdoing it, with some well-thought out details and imaginative touches.’
      detail, feature, fine point, nicety, addition, accessory
      View synonyms
  • 3in singular A distinctive manner or method of dealing with something.

    ‘later he showed a surer political touch’
    • ‘Hull University has launched a unique mentoring project into cyberspace in a bid to bring the feminine touch to senior management jobs across Britain.’
    • ‘She applied an artistic touch and created a lifelike clay face meant to depict Tut on the day of his death.’
    • ‘Success, even wild success, can be a fluke, but a lifetime of wild success requires a divine touch.’
    • ‘The comic elements included in the play needed to be handled with a deft touch rather than a heavy hand too.’
    • ‘The woman's voice had been selected after tests with pilots showed that the feminine touch proved the most effective.’
    • ‘In contrast to his previous ability to be all things to all people, in his second period of office from 1950 he lost his political touch and managed to offend even his loyal supporters.’
    • ‘Before ET, Spielberg was just a bankable director with a populist touch.’
    • ‘And there's a nice political touch with dear Cherie handling the case.’
    • ‘Again, he scored with the local touch he managed to bring, proving that a lot of homework had gone into its making.’
    • ‘Craig David has been to Rishi's studio giving his single Spanish a bhangra touch, even managing to sing a verse in Punjabi that had been specially written for him.’
    • ‘Sometimes it can seem like the Lakers have the magic touch in selecting players, but don't read too much into this.’
    • ‘We made American jazz standards but with a Cuban touch and influenced by bossa nova too.’
    • ‘He has more of a sure touch when dealing with pure retail.’
    • ‘These two midfielders directed the game with an expert touch.’
    • ‘Serving tea to the Dixon family in Mr Howard's sitting room showed a political touch which the Tories have lacked for the best part of a decade.’
    skill, skilfulness, expertise, dexterity, deftness, virtuosity, adroitness, adeptness, ability, talent, flair, facility, proficiency
    influence, effect, hand, handling
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 An ability to deal with something successfully.
      ‘getting caught looks so incompetent, as though we're losing our touch’
      • ‘Late in the 2002 season, as Miami was in the midst of one of its annual collapses, both of these cornerbacks seemed to be losing their touch.’
      • ‘If you've read this far and are asking that question, then I must be losing my touch, whatever little of it I had in the first place.’
      • ‘I am usually very good about their tricks and jokes, but it seems I am losing my touch the more I stay away from people.’
      • ‘Not having enough things that have annoyed me - perhaps I'm losing my touch?’
      • ‘Maybe you're not losing your touch; maybe you're simply losing interest.’
      • ‘However, I'm going to shout that honestly, Rick, you are losing your touch.’
      • ‘I must be losing my touch, I considered as the room's unnerving silence got the best of me.’
      • ‘Rumours are starting to spread that he's losing his touch.’
      • ‘Ugh I think I'm losing my touch or something… that chapter was pretty awful eh?’
      • ‘We have read through your report, and it's fairly obvious to us that you're losing your touch.’
      • ‘Either he was the only security I could see, or I was really losing my touch.’
      • ‘He was a Pro Bowler in 2000 before really losing his touch, and that's when the fans and the media in Denver started coming down on him.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister, we are told, is losing his touch.’
      • ‘But there are signs that he could be losing his touch for self-promotion.’
      • ‘That meant one of two things: either she was losing her touch, or they'd upgraded their little bat-mobile.’
      • ‘It failed and I had such a hard time figuring out what was wrong, I went through a stage of wondering whether I was losing my touch.’
      • ‘Her Irish temper was rising, and Logan was glad he hadn't lost the touch.’
      • ‘He really is losing his touch… it only took three hours to convince him to let me paint.’
      • ‘Is it just me, or are some bands losing their touch?’
      • ‘She had to wonder if maybe Mrs. Hamstrom was losing her touch, after all she wasn't young anymore, maybe she was becoming senile.’
      talent, flair, aptitude, facility, knack, technique, bent, ability, expertise, capacity, capability, power, faculty
      View synonyms
  • 4Soccer Rugby
    in singular The area beyond the sidelines, out of play.

    ‘his clearance went directly into touch’
    figurative ‘the idea was kicked firmly into touch by the authorities’
    • ‘Once at University Andrew kicked rugby into touch because he was fed up of waking up with a thick head, took up rowing - and the rest is history.’
    • ‘But his pass is overhit and goes straight into touch.’
    • ‘The keeper comes out, arms flailing, but the corner is too long and drifts into touch.’
    • ‘The English mistakes came thick and fast as Jonny Wilkinson knocked on and Luger sliced a horrible kick into touch to the delight of the Welsh supporters.’
    • ‘If their hearts are not at the club then they should be kicked straight into touch.’
  • 5dated, informal in singular An act of asking for and getting a loan or gift from someone.

    ‘I only tolerated him because he was good for a touch now and then’
  • 6Bell-ringing
    A series of changes shorter than a peal.

  • 7archaic in singular A thing that tests the worth or character of something.

    ‘you must put your fate to the touch’


  • a touch

    • To a slight degree; a little.

      ‘the water was a touch chilly for us’
      • ‘Now I have a pint of hot water with a touch of lemon, then two pieces of fruit like a banana and apple.’
      • ‘There is a sick feeling developing in my stomach, accompanied by a slight fear and a touch of anger.’
      • ‘With my need for coffee still a touch greater than my fear of humiliation, I popped the question.’
      • ‘This was a touch worrying as we were there for pretty much the same reason.’
      • ‘After a while it becomes a little too solid, but a touch more water fixes that.’
      • ‘An exotic Chinese golden pheasant has brought a touch of the mystic east to inner city Manchester.’
      • ‘It may well be the old congenital paranoia, but I detect more than a touch of wishful thinking here.’
      • ‘It was a clean-cut, agreeable dish albeit a touch bland for more adventurous palates.’
      • ‘If this can be achieved then the crowd tend to get a touch restless and this can filter through to the players on the pitch.’
      • ‘In order to add a touch of calm to proceedings in Corsham she also read stories to the assembled youngsters.’
  • in touch

    • 1In or into communication.

      ‘ask someone to put you in touch with other carers’
      ‘I'm not much of a one for keeping in touch’
      • ‘All community groups have to do is get in touch and tell us how they believe broadband would help them.’
      • ‘If you would like to become involved then please do get in touch with the staff at the centre and they will be able to steer you in the right direction.’
      • ‘When Jade first went missing, she kept in touch with her mother but has now stopped contacting her and has not returned home.’
      • ‘Moylan spent a week in Thailand, and after returning to England kept in touch with Wan by phone and mail.’
      • ‘I'd like to help you get in touch with the person you seek but it's just getting to be too big a drain on me.’
      • ‘Police were trying to get in touch with relatives of the dead and injured.’
      • ‘Keeping in touch with people back home was easy as there was an internet café in almost every village.’
      • ‘This might be good news for the communications industry and good news for anyone trying to get in touch with us.’
      • ‘Twenty-seven years of shared experiences later, they still kept in touch.’
      • ‘We really hope that people from Asian communities with an interest in charities will get in touch and join this scheme.’
      contact, communication, correspondence, connection, association
      View synonyms
    • 2Possessing up-to-date knowledge.

      ‘we need to keep in touch with the latest developments’
      • ‘She was an avid reader and kept in touch with her home county through the weekly Connaught Telegraph.’
      • ‘Make sure to get this web address to those who are living away so that they may be able to stay in touch with what we are all up to in this neck of the woods.’
      • ‘I would like to thank your newspaper for keeping me in touch with home developments.’
      • ‘In Washington, President Bill Clinton cancelled his schedule to keep in touch with developments.’
      up to date, up with, in touch, familiar, at home, acquainted, conversant
      View synonyms
      1. 2.1Having an intuitive awareness.
        ‘you need to be in touch with your feelings’
        • ‘I want him to be in touch with his Australian heritage and learn to tackle and play the game that they play in heaven.’
        • ‘We can consciously cultivate practices that bring us in touch with other kinds of temporality.’
        • ‘The sessions are aimed at getting individuals in touch with the inner self.’
        • ‘I think everybody has a certain amount of that, and either you're in touch with it or you're not.’
        • ‘There's no confusing failure with getting in touch with one's feminine nature in his work.’
        • ‘People here are outdoorsy, and still very in touch in with the land.’
        • ‘This was the work of a vital performer in touch with the soul of the Cosmic American Music.’
        • ‘He wrote her a rap song before he departed and he sings for me now, just to keep in touch with his feelings for this woman so far away.’
        • ‘The movie elicits in people a connection or a hunger to be in touch with the transcendent.’
  • lose touch

    • 1Cease to be in communication.

      ‘I lost touch with him when he joined the Air Force’
      • ‘Most of the people who are going through this now had already lost touch with the only community they'd ever known.’
      • ‘It was after - I lost touch with Erik for a few months, probably six months.’
      • ‘Since becoming single again, I've been making an effort to get back in touch with old friends I'd stupidly lost touch with.’
      • ‘Soon the cattle were sold and, over time, the farmer's wife lost touch with the farming community around her.’
      • ‘I went down to 5 ½ stone weight and I lost touch with friends and family.’
      • ‘With so many people evacuated in so many directions, families have become separated and people have lost touch with their loved ones.’
      • ‘I'd lost touch with him, and was meaning to look him up.’
      • ‘A very jovial and likeable man Tom never lost touch with home and came back on regular visits when he enjoyed meeting up with his old neighbours and friends.’
      • ‘I do not know what he was involved in, because I had lost touch with him, but I learnt he was gunned down in an encounter in Baroda early into his career in crime.’
      • ‘I've somehow lost touch with the rest of my family over the years.’
      contact, communication, correspondence, connection, association
      View synonyms
    • 2Cease to be aware or informed.

      ‘we cannot lose touch with political reality’
      • ‘Vanessa discusses several months after Layla's death how western society has lost touch with rituals that express mourning.’
      • ‘The speech sure sounded like a clunker to me, but Hugh was there, and it may be that I've simply lost touch with the Democratic mindset.’
      • ‘It has become so narrow in its inner-city focus it has lost touch with its working-class roots in the bush as well as outer-metropolitan areas.’
      • ‘It is the fate of modernism that we repeatedly lose touch with nature, the environment, the planet.’
      • ‘They are very keen that their children should not lose touch with their culture.’
      • ‘Her hard work has paid off but she has traveled so far from her essence in the process that she feels she has lost touch with herself and lost touch with life.’
      • ‘According to this other picture, we in the West have lost touch with our humanity and with the community-mindedness of our ancestors.’
      • ‘We've lost touch with the first principle of any democratic community: Live and let live.’
      • ‘A furious Selby burglary victim said today that Britain's law lords had lost touch with reality after calling for more lenient sentences for offenders.’
      • ‘Yet, Nani never felt that she was anything other than Indonesian, as her parents constantly reminded her that although they lived in a foreign country that did not mean that they had an excuse to lose touch with their origins.’
  • out of touch

    • 1Lacking up-to-date knowledge or information.

      ‘he seems out of touch with recent economic thinking’
      • ‘It shows he's out of touch what's been going on in America over the last three years.’
      • ‘Some people are impermeable to information or wholly out of touch with the topical subjects of the day.’
      • ‘Let's be clear: Davis is man completely out of touch with modern society.’
      • ‘There was also a discussion after the dinner about whether the media elite is out of touch with America.’
      • ‘I am completely out of touch with what's going on in the world.’
      • ‘Dame Stella is somewhat out of touch with modern archive services, which can be innovative and challenging.’
      • ‘Rarely has the church appeared so out of touch with present-day Scotland than it did during the cardinal's sermon.’
      • ‘If that's true, then the UBP and the community are out of touch with the way the capital punishment debate is going.’
      1. 1.1Lacking in awareness or sympathy.
        ‘we have been betrayed by a government out of touch with our values’
        • ‘That they were surprised by the voters, and have no Plan B, tells us just how out of touch with the grass roots the elite is.’
        • ‘Westminster has been besieged over the past week by public sector workers protesting that the government was out of touch with them.’
        • ‘So I think his statement says more about his being out of touch with his own state than it has anything to do with me.’
        • ‘Bangladesh played well today and Australia seemed a bit out of touch.’
        • ‘But researchers say parents appeared out of touch with their concerns.’
        • ‘They were historic movies out of touch with history, out of touch with morality.’
        • ‘This president is completely out of touch with reality, and it showed again in his speech today.’
        • ‘People who deride the poor for laziness are out of touch with the difficulty of finding decent jobs.’
        • ‘The pitch, when you strip it down, is that the party is hopelessly out of touch, and needs someone to lead them back to where the rest of the country is.’
        • ‘It's easy to see why the message touches so many people, as so many people feel out of touch with nature; that is to say, alienated.’
  • to the touch

    • When touched.

      ‘the ankle was swollen and painful to the touch’
      • ‘For some strange reason, everything around seems to be slightly warm to the touch but that may be me.’
      • ‘My entire face is the colour of a fire engine and sore to the touch.’
      • ‘It felt sticky to the touch, so we dissuaded my son from sitting in it.’
      • ‘They too were covered with small grey bruises, none of them bigger than the nail of my pinky finger and all of them painful to the touch.’
      • ‘Inflammation occurs and the lip is tender to the touch and so are, sometimes, the gums.’
      • ‘He's curled up in bed, burning hot to the touch, yet complaining of being cold.’
      • ‘Her whole body seemed to be throbbing and every millimeter of her skin was painful to the touch.’
      • ‘The paper is soft, rough, and unpleasant to the touch, and the typeface and printing quality are a strain to the eye.’
      • ‘The tube gets only slightly warm to the touch, and does not present a burn danger.’
      • ‘Why are parts of my body cold to the touch when I don't actually feel cold in those places?’
  • touch bottom

    • 1Reach the ground below a stretch of water with one's feet or a pole.

      • ‘Her feet touched bottom and she stood up slowly, revelling in the water flowing from her as she rose from the pool.’
      • ‘He sank below the surface, and his feet touched bottom!’
      • ‘Allie sighed in exhausted relief when her wobbly feet touched bottom once more.’
      • ‘Then I let myself down into the water which, on touching bottom, proved to be several feet over my head in depth.’
      • ‘I was at the absolute end of my strength and ready to give it all up and let myself sink when my foot touched bottom.’
      • ‘As we conclude our series on ‘Swimming In The Deep End,’ we are reminded that when we get into ‘deep water,’ and we can't touch bottom, it seems like we are about to drown, it seems like we might not make it back to safety this time.’
      • ‘My feet touch bottom… It's cold in the water, but I'm warm.’
      • ‘Divers from the U.S. Geological Survey once descended 300 feet into the waters of Devils Hole but they never touched bottom.’
      • ‘Suddenly your feet don't touch bottom any more and you notice you are farther from the beach.’
      • ‘He finally struggled close enough to shore so his feet could touch bottom, then he just stood there with the water lapping at his neck.’
      1. 1.1Be at the lowest or worst point.
        ‘the housing market has touched bottom’
        • ‘There are, however, hints that the chain has touched bottom.’
        • ‘The economy has touched bottom, but the recovery is still sluggish.’
        • ‘But I have no idea where, or when, the market will touch bottom, and I don't really care.’
        • ‘Still, no one knows whether the economy has touched bottom or is simply pausing before heading south again.’
  • touch of nature

    • A display of human feeling with which others sympathize (based on a misinterpretation of Shakespeare's Troilus and CressidaIII iii. 169).

      • ‘‘One touch of nature makes the whole world kin’, and the same human nature exists under the crown of the King and the crownless hat of the beggar.’
      • ‘He might have such a gift in mind when he says that ‘[m]anners are for me the touch of nature, an artifice in the very bloodstream’.’
  • touch of the sun

    • A slight attack of sunstroke.

      ‘they both had a touch of the sun’

Phrasal Verbs

  • touch at

    • (of a ship) call briefly at (a port)

      ‘before returning to Denmark, he touched at Sandwich’
      • ‘No fleet can possibly sail to or return from India without touching at some proper place for refreshment, and, in time of war, it must be equally necessary for protection.’
      • ‘His great fleet touched at the Orkneys, moved south to the Tyne to join with Tostig, and then entered the Humber, menacing York.’
  • touch down

    • 1Rugby
      Touch the ground with the ball behind the opponents' goal line, scoring a try.

      • ‘Francis Meli was twice denied tries by forward passes and scrum-half Lance Hohaia would have touched down, but he grounded the ball short of the line after a fine run and dive.’
      • ‘The pair swapped roles for the second try when Cain, playing at scrum-half, provided the pass for loose forward Ball to touch down under the sticks.’
      • ‘A try is scored in the usual way by touching down the rugby ball.’
      • ‘But this sparked the Welsh into life and they scored a wonderful try of their own when scrum-half Gareth Cooper touched down after a flowing passage of play.’
      • ‘He clearly had both feet off the ground as he touched down and I think we got what we deserved.’
      1. 1.1Score six points by being in possession of the ball behind the opponents' goal line.
        • ‘If he crossed the goal line near the sideline, a runner might try to fight his way toward the middle before touching down so as to get a better angle.’
    • 2(of an aircraft or spacecraft) land.

      ‘his plane touched down at Nice airport’
      • ‘When his aircraft touched down at Shannon Airport he failed to appear from his vodka-induced slumbers to greet his Irish hosts.’
      • ‘Investigators will want to know if the aircraft touched down in the proper place, if other planes had difficulty braking and if pilots were warned of waterlogging.’
      • ‘This is followed by the bump and lurch as the aircraft touches down and the engines roar into full reverse.’
      • ‘We were still turning as we approached, dangerously close to the ground, and touched down heavily.’
      • ‘At first no one thought the spacecraft had even touched down and that's what was reported globally.’
      • ‘Tailwheel aircraft might actually touch down tailwheel-first.’
      • ‘The aircraft may have also touched down at a sideways angle.’
      • ‘Air Force One delivers the American President, and whenever this enormous aircraft touches down or takes off a powerful statement is made.’
      • ‘Both engines quit due to fuel starvation when the aircraft touched down.’
      • ‘The areas where the aircraft touched down began to crack and crumble.’
      land, alight, come in to land, come down, come to earth, come to rest, put down, make a landing, arrive
      View synonyms
  • touch something off

    • 1Cause something to ignite or explode by touching it with a lighted match.

      • ‘Throw in the need to launch him across the room via strategically placed crossbows so that the dynamite can be touched off and you have a typical puzzle found in VV.’
      • ‘Often though, what we find is ugly surplus ammo that's just scary-enough to make you tense-a-bit when you touch it off.’
      • ‘When they were touched off, you truly felt like there was a thunderstick in your hand!’
      • ‘When you touch it off though, it gets your attention.’
      detonate, set off, trigger, explode, spark, spark off
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Cause something to happen suddenly.
        ‘there was concern that the move could touch off a trade war’
        • ‘As in Georgia and Ukraine, a rebellion was touched off in the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan last week by popular outrage over an unfair election.’
        • ‘One of the many earthquakes that rocked the campaign was touched off when Goldwater offhandedly said that Minuteman missiles, one of the mainstays of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, were undependable.’
        • ‘There is an incident of some kind that touches it off.’
        • ‘But apparently what really touched it off was his discussion of the creation of a Palestinian state as part of administration policy.’
        • ‘The killer waves were touched off by a 9.0 earthquake, six miles under the Indian Ocean.’
        initiate, set off, start, begin, set in motion, instigate, ignite, trigger, trigger off, stir up, provoke, foment, cause, give rise to, lead to, generate, actuate, launch
        View synonyms
    • 2(of a racehorse) defeat another horse in a race by a short margin.

      ‘Royal Ballerina was touched off by Intrepidity in the English Oaks’
  • touch on (or upon)

    • 1Deal briefly with (a subject) in written or spoken discussion.

      ‘he touches upon several themes from the last chapter’
      • ‘He packs in a great deal of information and touches on many subjects.’
      • ‘We talked for forty-five minutes, briefly touching on the subject of last Saturday night, but mostly dancing around it.’
      • ‘We talked for an hour and a half, only briefly touching on the subject of finalizing the tentative plans we'd made (picked a day and that was about it), and then he had to be off.’
      • ‘Actually I'm interested in opening up this discussion and touching on the subject of the amount of time you spend playing games against the contrast of your increased age and the change in the games themselves.’
      • ‘This is a beautifully written book, touching on a subject that touches us all one day.’
      refer to, mention, give a mention to, comment on, remark on, bring up, speak of, talk about, write about, deal with, raise, broach, cover, allude to, make an allusion to, hint at, skim over
      View synonyms
    • 2Come near to being.

      ‘a self-confident manner touching on the arrogant’
      • ‘This symmetrical infidelity makes for an interesting game of dominoes, in which the players' conversation skirts around questions of sex, marriage, and the rights of a wronged husband, without ever touching on the truth.’
      come close to, verge on, border on, incline to, approach, resemble, be tantamount to, be more or less, be not far from, be not far off
      View synonyms
  • touch someone up

    • Caress someone without their consent, for one's own sexual pleasure.

      ‘he was sacked after one of his pupils accused him of touching her up’
      • ‘He asks a second young woman, ‘Will you let me touch you up, or should I use a stripper?’’
      • ‘Amidst booming drum 'n' bass, models stilettoed through the sawdust and sauntered around the audience whilst being accosted by wide boys shouting abuse and touching them up.’
      • ‘S also said that R was ‘really weird’ and frequently woke up shouting that ‘lads were touching her up’ at nights when there was nobody else in the room.’
      • ‘‘I'm suggesting that happened more than once, a security guy came up to you and said that females were complaining that you had been touching them up,’ said Mr Newbury.’
      • ‘They run into many stereotypical tourists - the British are a bunch of football hooligans, led by Vinnie Jones, the Italians are represented by an outrageously gay man, who touches Scotty up in train tunnels, etc.’
      • ‘No, she was not there at that time. She was only there that time when them two were touching me up.’
      • ‘Many women working in the City also say they are touched up by both colleagues, contacts or competitors at such events, and think objecting could be bad for business.’
      fondle, molest, feel up
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  • touch something up

    • Make small improvements to something.

      ‘these paints are handy for touching up small areas on walls or ceilings’
      • ‘All over Athens, in the lead-up to this morning's opening ceremony, buildings have been touched up and instant lawn rolled out to spruce up the ancient city for the Olympics.’
      • ‘She prepared the actor's face, the others touched it up and perfected it.’
      • ‘Anyway, you look great, so stop whining and keep your face still so I can touch it up.’
      • ‘I may touch it up at some point, but probably won't.’
      • ‘It seems now that the Townlands mural has been reprieved and it is hoped when the renovation work is complete in the Loch Inn building the mural will be touched up and refreshed.’
      • ‘The workmen are busy touching things up and adjusting the projections.’
      • ‘The streets have been touched up and the bars may be buzzing, but the English market, which dates from 1788, is still as Victorian as it comes.’
      • ‘A full refinish is an expensive way to take care of minor stuff - and that usually reduces value too - but sometimes we can touch things up a bit and either eliminate or reduce the impact of a scratch.’
      • ‘If you start work early, you probably haven't got much time to apply it in the first place, and you certainly haven't got much time to touch it up during the day.’
      repaint, patch up, retouch, renovate, refurbish, spruce up, restore, revive, renew, revamp, brush up, rehabilitate, overhaul, recondition, refresh, rejuvenate
      improve, enhance, gloss, dress up, embellish, embroider
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Middle English: the verb from Old French tochier, probably from a Romance word of imitative origin; the noun originally from Old French touche, later (in certain senses) directly from the verb.