One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Cause something to ignite or explode by touching it with a lighted match.
detonate, set off, trigger, explode, spark, spark offView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- 1.1 Cause something to happen suddenly.‘there was concern that the move could touch off a trade war’
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, launchView synonyms
- ‘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.’
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’
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