One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Formerly: †an electric source of light (obsolete). Now: specifically a hand-held device consisting essentially of an electric lamp enclosed (usually with a battery) in a portable case.
Mid 19th century (in an earlier sense). From electric + torch.
electric torch/ɪˌlɛktrɪk ˈtɔːtʃ/
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