Definition of touch in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Come so close to (an object) as to be or come into contact with it.

    ‘the dog had one paw outstretched, not quite touching the ground’
    • ‘Samantha had remained erect, very still, and dry-eyed, her back not touching the witness chair.’
    • ‘The long sleeves widened and ended in points that did not quite touch the ground.’
    • ‘She sat straight in her chair, the small of her back never touching the chair.’
    • ‘Her raven hair was brushed down nearly touching her shoulders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Descend until your left knee bends 90 degrees and your right knee nearly touches the floor.’
    • ‘His feet weren't quite touching the top of the roof.’
    • ‘He was incredibly professional looking, his black and gray robes nearly touching the floor.’
    • ‘She was still hanging over the edge of the bunk, the ends of her hair nearly touching my covers.’
    • ‘Then their lips touched for just a moment and then they drew back slightly.’
    • ‘Lie on the floor, face down, toes touching the ground and elbows positioned below your shoulders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Clearings exhibited large quantities of grapes that crept along from shrub to shrub, their huge bunches of fruit nearly touching the ground.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His head hung low, with his chin nearly touching his chest.’
    • ‘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.’
    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
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    1. 1.1 Bring one's hand or another part of one's body into contact with.
      ‘he touched a strand of her hair’
      ‘she lowered her head to touch his fingers with her lips’
      • ‘I felt slender fingers touch my chin and brought it upwards to meet his beautiful eyes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She said the move, however, attracted call boys who began shouting and touching her body instead of helping her.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He didn't grip her tightly but barely let his fingers touch her body.’
      • ‘None of the police officers at the scene said they had touched the body.’
      • ‘I can't stand to even touch my own body, to wash, even get dressed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She reached out to him, her whole body quivering, and touched his hand.’
      • ‘He took in a deep breath, touching my body gently, tenderly… hesitantly.’
      • ‘When he finally died, they touched his body as they bound him in a sheet, feeling the paper thin skin, almost touching bone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nowadays, you know, my children are very aware, it's like you know, this is my body and you can't touch it.’
      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’
      • ‘Finally, their lips touched and for a moment, Tyler found himself in a haze.’
      • ‘Their lips touched softly and fused into a long, slow embrace.’
      • ‘Our fingers touched, and electricity crackled in the night.’
      • ‘But the moment their lips touched, he knew something inside of him had changed.’
      • ‘Before their lips touched, however, he hesitated slightly and looked at Molly to make sure she was okay with this.’
      • ‘The air around them seemed to be charged with electricity as their lips touched.’
      • ‘Right before our lips touched, he jumped back and pulled his hand away as if he suddenly realized what was about to happen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Walking into the youth room, where the senior high Sunday school class met, my mind instantly recalled the moment our lips touched.’
      • ‘He held her hand until only their fingertips touched, then the distance became too great and the contact was lost.’
      • ‘The moment their lips touched, Kynan's inner battle was lost.’
      • ‘I felt a shiver run up my spine as our shoulders touched, and I moved away from him slightly.’
      • ‘Their hands touched slightly and Ann pulled back as though she had been burned.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Their hands touched slightly when they went to grab their drinks.’
      • ‘Their fingers touched momentarily, but it sent a familiar tingling through him.’
      • ‘The moment our lips touched, it was like a dam breaking and he grabbed me, kissing me hard, pushing me back against the bookcase.’
      • ‘For a brief second their lips touched in a light kiss, the caress of each other sending shivers down their spins.’
      • ‘She hands him back his credit card, and their fingers touch for a moment.’
      • ‘They reached, and for one agonising moment they touched fingers…’
    3. 1.3Geometry Be tangent to (a curve or surface) at a certain point.
  • 2Handle in order to manipulate, alter, or otherwise affect, especially in an adverse way.

    ‘I didn't play her records or touch any of her stuff’
    • ‘Nevertheless, these are dangerous animals and should not be touched or interfered with in any way by divers.’
    • ‘I hadn't touched the gear handle or flaps after the shot, and, therefore, reasoned the gear and flaps still were down.’
    • ‘McLaren were also fined even though the contents of the box were not touched and were legal.’
    • ‘Education chiefs in York have pledged not to touch the amount of money going to schools, despite planned budget cuts of £884,000.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘King Charles Court had not been touched for 30 years.’
    • ‘Blogger's new image feature has screwed up my template which I haven't touched in 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Just smear some on your neck and I promise you, no vampire will touch you for a decade.’
      • ‘The fearsome, spotted creature was a kitten in his hands and ruthless to anyone else that dared to touch her.’
      • ‘If you dared touch her you are as good as dead and that is by my law!’
      • ‘I'm going to fight if you touch me or hurt me or do harm to my family.’
      • ‘There had been talk among their generals to bring her here before, but none had dared to touch her.’
      • ‘But Alexander did not leave, he came closer, but did not dare to touch me.’
      • ‘If you try to harm me, or touch me, you may suffer a worse fate.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘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 they dare to touch me again, they will see what will happen to them.’
      • ‘We'd make sure they never touched this generation of students.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘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.’’
      • ‘There were reports of people hitting people but nobody touched anybody.’
    2. 2.2 Consume or use (food, drink, money, etc.)
      ‘the beer by his right hand was hardly touched’
      ‘in three years I haven't touched a cent of the money’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You can't touch your pension pot until you're at least fifty, which gives it time to grow.’
      • ‘From the very beginning, I knew that you were never even gonna touch this money.’
      • ‘If your employer goes bust, it can not touch your pension fund, but you may not get as much as you had originally thought.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We hardly touched our wine and it was all I could to keep my eyes open.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Are we still not touching money today because it's dirty?’
      • ‘You may not touch the funds saved in a retirement annuity before you are 55 years old.’
      • ‘I won't be touching this money for perhaps 25 years, so it's all going into the stock market.’
      • ‘Your investment mix would be limited, and you wouldn't be able to touch your money or borrow against it until you retire.’
      • ‘When he leaves each day, you clear the dishes but can't touch the tip.’
      • ‘Since you cannot touch the money until you retire, you no longer have a rainy-day fund, or a down payment for a house.’
      • ‘True, it is hard for a monk not to touch money and to live without the comforts of this world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Pensions are a great way to save for the future because you can't touch the money until you retire.’
      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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mind you losing my job didn't do much for my reputation because no-one would touch me for the next three years.’
      • ‘But there were some things we didn't want to touch, like paedophilia.’
      • ‘I even came to him with that Faulkner book, which nobody would touch.’
      • ‘What's more, they'll never touch stock like this again either.’
      • ‘He went to Africa hoping to cover ‘an anticipated blossoming of democracy across the continent’, but in four years never touched the subject.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I don't touch anything involved with electricity, for example.’
      • ‘Is there value to certain types of non-nutty Internet speculation that the mainstream media, for the most part, refuse to touch?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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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  • 3Have an effect on; make a difference to.

    ‘a tenth of state companies have been touched by privatization’
    • ‘It's like titillation value was more important than ability to touch or affect other people's lives.’
    • ‘The senior undergraduate course in American constitutional law touches a host of moral issues buffeting our country today.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Your listeners should have the feeling at the end of your concert that something inside them has been touched and changed.’
    • ‘When one talks about reforms in the Muslim community, none of the important organisations touch these issues.’
    • ‘Howe doesn't see the extended Internet really touching consumers in a major way until 2007, due to the expense.’
    • ‘Drug abuse and crime now touch all levels of society.’
    • ‘Thanks for a great analysis touching many of the important bases.’
    • ‘The international jurisprudence to which we have referred does not touch this problem that we are concerned with, does it?’
    • ‘Before long, GPS will be touching our lives in so many positive ways that we'll wonder how we ever lived without it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What has been labelled moral evil or human evil or sin touches every sphere of human activity.’
    • ‘Williams' plan is to raise awareness about ecological issues by touching the lives of students along his route, through school talks and media events.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, stress seems to be at an almost epidemic level, touching all levels of society.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anyone whose life has been touched by cancer will be aware of the vitally important work of Macmillan nurses.’
    • ‘Healthcare is a matter of concern in most countries and one that touches everybody in some way.’
    • ‘Powered by the breath, this massage is a dynamic dance of the spirit that touches many different levels of consciousness.’
    • ‘This was a concert for those touched by dispossession and resistance.’
    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’
      • ‘An unidentifiable expression touches Michael's features, then he lets his eyelids fall shut and rotates his head away from us on the pillow.’
      • ‘His expression touching bewilderment, he nevertheless returned my mother's overpowering embrace with a smile and genuine goodbye.’
      • ‘A wry smile touched Ame's lips as she ran her fingers over the faded image, eyes softening.’
      • ‘She held up her hands, a ghost of a smile touching her lips.’
      • ‘He was staring at Cael, a smile touching his lips, as the latter took a step back, away from him.’
      • ‘I watched him, quietly, with a gentle smile touching my lips.’
      • ‘Nick was leaning against the wall with an amused smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘He lowered his hand, a small smiled touching his lips.’
      • ‘Thomas frowned and shook his head, a minute smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘She shook her head, a shy smile touching her lips when she looked away from him.’
      • ‘Tanya bounded down the stairs, the slightest of smiles touching her lips as she recalled the previous night.’
      • ‘‘You don't have to stay on the floor the whole way,’ he said, a smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘Remembering the Legendary Master's words after David had fallen, Viridian cannot stop the smile from touching her lips.’
      • ‘His face was peaceful, a faint smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘He looked at her strangely, a faint smile touching his lips.’
      • ‘She looked down at his hand, bringing it up to her chest, next to her head, a soft smile touching her lips.’
      • ‘He answered honestly, a small ironic smile touching his lips as he realized the double meaning behind his words.’
      • ‘She slid her seatbelt on, a smile touching her lips as she started the car, scooting her seat forward since she had shorter legs.’
      • ‘Her eyes were closed, and a slight smile was touching her lips.’
      • ‘She whispered, a faint smile touching her lips, it was coming back.’
  • 4Produce feelings of affection, gratitude, or sympathy in.

    ‘she was touched by her friend's loyalty’
    • ‘We remember well his sermon at the pope's funeral in Rome, how his words touched our hearts and the hearts of millions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His words touched Callie, who didn't miss the tremor in his voice.’
    • ‘She was surprised to have been so touched by his words.’
    • ‘I think your words have touched my heart completely.’
    • ‘Kim took all of what Levi had said in slowly, the words touching her heart.’
    • ‘Jesus' words touched her heart and set her on the way of transformation.’
    • ‘His words touched my heart, as though he were speaking to me personally.’
    • ‘Teach your teachers and leaders to pray before class starts, asking God to guide their words and touch the hearts of their students.’
    • ‘Emma's family have been touched by the students' fund-raising.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her words touched my heart and the whole world seemed to crush me then.’
    • ‘She'd been touched by his words, his teachings, and had found herself swept along in the wake of his passage.’
    • ‘Her words had touched something deep within him, something bizarre and strange that frightened him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One thing was the same, however; the words touched them deeply and went straight to their hearts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He wanted to break down in front of her and show her how those simple words had touched his soul.’
    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’
    • ‘At one point in the day, the rupiah touched 10,135 per dollar before closing at a three-month low of 10,025.’
    • ‘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 total storage volume for RHW facilities in Sumida City touched 9,500 cubic metres by that date.’
    • ‘The rush on commodities stretched into the gold market, where prices touched 18-year highs.’
    • ‘The housing loan, the key component of the advance portfolio, touched the level of Rs 110 crore.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The foreign currency assets also saw a similar increase of $169 million to touch $1,03,384 million.’
    • ‘At the same time, India's imports from China touched 1.74 billion US dollars, up 72 per cent.’
    • ‘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 currency briefly touched 8.2700 on that day, a gain of 0.08 percent.’
    • ‘Software exports have touched Rs.5,841 crores this year, compared to last year's Rs.4,200 crores.’
    • ‘Auto component exports from India to our global operations have touched euro 72 million during the year 2003.’
    • ‘While doubling the female literacy rates, during this decade, the male literacy rates touched the 75.49 per cent mark.’
    • ‘The GDP growth rate touched new heights every quarter.’
    • ‘With elections round the corner, the irritation is bound to touch nightmarish levels.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The city houses a population of seven million, which is slated to touch 8.8 million in 2015.’
    • ‘As the temperatures touched the 80s, there was a typical end of pre-season feel about the opening exchanges.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's no one who can touch Noble for flights of nonsensical fancy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Define your agenda in terms of freedom, security, identity and democracy - ‘and no one can touch you for it’.’
      • ‘But when it comes to building lovable robots, no-on can touch Sony for cuteness (and no, they're not on sale yet).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘None of them, however, was able to touch Daru-brahman for as soon as they started, their chisels broke and fell to pieces.’
      • ‘Over the past five years, few teams can touch them for number of tries scored and appetite for attacking play.’
      • ‘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.’
      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
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  • 6touch someone forinformal Ask someone for (money or some other commodity) as a loan or gift.

    ‘he touched me for his fare’
    • ‘Seeing as how you're being so generous and all, maybe I could touch you for a few bob - er, I mean bucks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can touch Evan for the occasional meal or drinks but a million bucks is crossing the line.’
    • ‘The least expensive model will touch you for a couple of hundred bucks.’
    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’
    ‘expressions of love through words and touch’
    ‘you can manipulate images on the screen at the touch of a key’
    • ‘Stine was about to say something back, but at the touch of my hand, his eyes slowly closed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now thanks to a children's charity he can leap up and applaud because the new wheelchair rises at the touch of a button.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The whole way my eyes were burning at the memory of how he had flinched at the touch of a gentle hand.’
    • ‘Blonde turned to black, touches turned to kisses, and my tears gradually ceased.’
    • ‘Those travelling by train from Sligo railway station can now get their tickets at the touch of a screen.’
    • ‘He jumped at the touch of my hand to his bare skin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He ran his fingers across it wondering what it was supposed to mean, but at the touch of his hand words suddenly appeared.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She shrugged away at the touch of my hand, and continued her tale.’
    • ‘Blair opened his eyes at the touch of a hand on his forehead.’
    • ‘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 one stage, the cellular service providers presented a wide range of information services at the touch of key and enhanced memory and so on.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At the touch of his hand, all the tension dissipated from Robin's body.’
    press, tap, pat, nudge, prod, poke, push, glance, flick
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    1. 1.1 The faculty of perception through physical contact, especially with the fingers.
      ‘reading by touch’
      • ‘They were doing this with their hands in the dark with just a flashlight, and just using their senses of touch, smell and sight.’
      • ‘Physical touch, affection, and the messiness of caring for an uncoordinated person did not come easily.’
      • ‘This being the case, I sometimes can't quite ‘get’ my partner's aversion to physical touch.’
      • ‘We're looking for the reduction in unnecessary infection, most of which are transmitted by contact or touch.’
      • ‘The wall will include different pieces of artwork to stimulate various senses including touch, smell, sight and sound.’
      • ‘Choosing whole fish is a sensory experience that involves touch, sight and smell.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Finally, users report enhanced pleasure from physical sensations, especially the sense of touch.’
      • ‘Even if one is blessed with the senses of touch, smell, speech and hearing, it is sight that gives shape to imagination.’
      • ‘Reassurance also came in the form of touch and physical closeness during the biopsy.’
      • ‘Our brain gets stimulatory inputs through the special sensory stimuli of touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste.’
      • ‘They have poor vision but a very good sense of smell and 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.’
      • ‘Sensation arises from contact or touch, illustrated by a man and woman embracing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There must have been grooves cut into the metal - perceptible only by touch.’
      • ‘Instead, many urged a renewed alliance of the faculties, with touch as their tutor, guide, and ultimate arbiter.’
      • ‘Born blind, she is possessed of an incredible beauty and an amazingly heightened sense of hearing and touch.’
      • ‘You see, I don't have much of a physical sense of touch, but I can feel things.’
      • ‘A client may provide clues about her cultural perceptions of space and touch.’
      feeling, feel, sense of touch, contact, tactile sense, tactility
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    2. 1.2 A musician's manner of playing keys or strings.
      • ‘His tone is jeweled and his touch always poetic; he makes little effort to vary it in the name of stylistic authenticity.’
      • ‘Information is included on staccato touches and the two-note slur touch.’
      • ‘Legato is not necessarily a physical connection but an aural effect, a sweetness of sound, determined by the character of touch.’
      • ‘Skoogh plays them beautifully, approaching the first three intermezzi with a relative lightness of touch and keeping them moving.’
      • ‘These guys refresh classical music with their subtle touch, their accessible grooves, and a tiny klezmer edge.’
      • ‘The Raindrop Prelude had the requisite lightness of touch.’
      • ‘Brendel hasn't the kind of touch I am aiming for, but has such wonderful musicality.’
      • ‘The performances are lusty and emotional, and shouts or shrill whistling add the requisite folksy touch.’
      • ‘Bolet's touch, velvety yet penetrating, is a miracle, and he caresses each phrase as if it is taken from an operatic aria.’
      • ‘The glories of his phrasing and touch in the slow movements are where he shines through.’
      • ‘Her Chopinesque touch brought elegance to the movement's lovely second subject.’
      • ‘He sweeps through the Debussy pieces with a nonchalance that is almost disarming but his keyboard touch is indeed lithe and very beautiful.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What makes Jansons unique in his métier is the intricacy of his musical touch.’
      • ‘Otherwise, the dying hot air balloon and giant bird sequences benefit most from Herrmann's deft musical touch.’
      • ‘With his lighter touch and easier manner, Tubridy has turned it into a fluent, pleasant interlude.’
      • ‘Piau here has a lightness of touch which sits perfectly with the Mozart.’
      • ‘Retention of a naturally compact hand through early release of selected notes and judicious use of staccato touch is a potent technique.’
      • ‘Here Engel's steely touch yet emotional warmth were ideally channelled.’
      • ‘The admirable Japanese pianist, Haruko Seki, here applies her refreshing lightness of touch to some of the solo piano pieces.’
    3. 1.3 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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A touch of paint is given to the objects to provide special characteristics.’
      • ‘Finally, the tiny details were added by the deft pencil, filling in the gaps with intricate strokes in the very lightest of touches…’
      • ‘Incremental in approach, painstaking in process, the drawings coax a range of associations from the touch of the pencil.’
      • ‘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).’
      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 the flu’
    • ‘A touch of color to the cheeks, a little lipstick, maybe some eye shadow and mascara-makeup seems harmless enough.’
    • ‘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 mace or nutmeg is the only other thing needed.’
    • ‘A touch of ethnic jewellery completes a uniform that is cool, spaced-out and completely conventional.’
    • ‘A touch of uncertainty and anxiety clearly permeated the chilly autumnal air.’
    • ‘A touch of playfulness here and there dominates the divine characters.’
    • ‘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 self-obsession can be slightly forgiven in this case then.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I then added a quick touch of mascara and light pink lip stick.’
    • ‘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 sweetness is a good thing in her book too.’
    • ‘A touch of cold in the air has brought the winter anglers out.’
    • ‘A touch of the seaside was even brought to the show with a debut appearance from the Southport donkeys.’
    • ‘A touch of humility before embarking on these lectures would also not come amiss.’
    • ‘A touch of irresponsibility isn't necessarily a bad thing.’
    • ‘A touch of breeze stirred a late hatch of flies; occasionally there was the soft plop of a sated brown trout.’
    • ‘A touch of arrogant confidence is part of the mix for competitive success.’
    • ‘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 mascara, a pinch of blush, a dab of lip gloss, and I was set to go.’
    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 detail or feature, typically one that gives something a distinctive character.
      ‘the film's most inventive touch’
      • ‘Also offered is lunchtime delivery service, which, if you happen to work in the area, is a nice touch - call for details.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In homage to the location, the 37 bedrooms feature many seaside touches.’
      • ‘This is a nice touch, as it allows the viewer deeper access into the reporters' experiences.’
      • ‘I really like the feature, and think it is a nice touch, as well as a time saver.’
      • ‘While a little light in content, this was an interesting feature and a nice touch.’
      • ‘The layout is cool and spacious, contemporary without overdoing it, with some well-thought out details and imaginative touches.’
      • ‘Little elements of character development also add a nice touch.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The live music is definitely a nice touch though.’
      • ‘As art school and 70s as it sounds, it has some clever and inventive touches - Blyth had a strong visual sense early on.’
      • ‘I recommend the extended version VHS for other nice touches like that.’
      • ‘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 story is simple, but it's the details and weird touches Lynch lays in that makes it complex and darkly disturbing.’
      • ‘It is a nice touch, but doesn't really fit with the feature presentation.’
      • ‘I think hiring a drag queen would also be a nice touch.’
      • ‘The rather abstract and distant creator of the Bible text is humanized by the preacher's narrative details and poetic touches.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
    • ‘These two midfielders directed the game with an expert touch.’
    • ‘Before ET, Spielberg was just a bankable director with a populist touch.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Again, he scored with the local touch he managed to bring, proving that a lot of homework had gone into its making.’
    • ‘Success, even wild success, can be a fluke, but a lifetime of wild success requires a divine touch.’
    • ‘And there's a nice political touch with dear Cherie handling the case.’
    • ‘The comic elements included in the play needed to be handled with a deft touch rather than a heavy hand too.’
    • ‘He has more of a sure touch when dealing with pure retail.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The woman's voice had been selected after tests with pilots showed that the feminine touch proved the most effective.’
    • ‘We made American jazz standards but with a Cuban touch and influenced by bossa nova too.’
    • ‘Hull University has launched a unique mentoring project into cyberspace in a bid to bring the feminine touch to senior management jobs across Britain.’
    • ‘Sometimes it can seem like the Lakers have the magic touch in selecting players, but don't read too much into this.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She applied an artistic touch and created a lifelike clay face meant to depict Tut on the day of his death.’
    skill, skilfulness, expertise, dexterity, deftness, virtuosity, adroitness, adeptness, ability, talent, flair, facility, proficiency
    influence, effect, hand, handling
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1in singular An ability to deal with something successfully.
      ‘getting caught looks so incompetent, as though we're losing our touch’
      • ‘That meant one of two things: either she was losing her touch, or they'd upgraded their little bat-mobile.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister, we are told, is losing his touch.’
      • ‘Not having enough things that have annoyed me - perhaps I'm losing my touch?’
      • ‘However, I'm going to shout that honestly, Rick, you are losing your 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.’
      • ‘I must be losing my touch, I considered as the room's unnerving silence got the best of me.’
      • ‘Her Irish temper was rising, and Logan was glad he hadn't lost the 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.’
      • ‘He really is losing his touch… it only took three hours to convince him to let me paint.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Maybe you're not losing your touch; maybe you're simply losing interest.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Rumours are starting to spread that he's losing his touch.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But there are signs that he could be losing his touch for self-promotion.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Is it just me, or are some bands losing their touch?’
      talent, flair, aptitude, facility, knack, technique, bent, ability, expertise, capacity, capability, power, faculty
      View synonyms
  • 4dated, informal in singular An act of asking for and getting money or some other commodity from someone as a loan or gift.

    ‘I only tolerated him because he was good for a touch now and then’
  • 5Bell-ringing
    A series of changes shorter than a peal.

  • 6archaic in singular A thing or an action that tries out the worth or character of something; a test.

    ‘you must put your fate to the touch’
  • 7US

    short for touch football


  • a touch

    • To a slight degree; a little.

      ‘the water was a touch too 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After a while it becomes a little too solid, but a touch more water fixes that.’
      • ‘In order to add a touch of calm to proceedings in Corsham she also read stories to the assembled youngsters.’
      • ‘This was a touch worrying as we were there for pretty much the same reason.’
      • ‘An exotic Chinese golden pheasant has brought a touch of the mystic east to inner city Manchester.’
      • ‘With my need for coffee still a touch greater than my fear of humiliation, I popped the question.’
      • ‘It was a clean-cut, agreeable dish albeit a touch bland for more adventurous palates.’
      • ‘There is a sick feeling developing in my stomach, accompanied by a slight fear and a touch of anger.’
      • ‘It may well be the old congenital paranoia, but I detect more than a touch of wishful thinking here.’
  • in touch

    • 1In or into communication.

      ‘ask someone to put you in touch with other suppliers’
      ‘she said that you kept in touch, that you wrote’
      • ‘Keeping in touch with people back home was easy as there was an internet café in almost every village.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Moylan spent a week in Thailand, and after returning to England kept in touch with Wan by phone and mail.’
      • ‘All community groups have to do is get in touch and tell us how they believe broadband would help them.’
      • ‘Twenty-seven years of shared experiences later, they still kept in touch.’
      • ‘When Jade first went missing, she kept in touch with her mother but has now stopped contacting her and has not returned home.’
      • ‘This might be good news for the communications industry and good news for anyone trying to get in touch with us.’
      • ‘We really hope that people from Asian communities with an interest in charities will get in touch and join this scheme.’
      • ‘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.’
      contact, communication, correspondence, connection, association
      View synonyms
    • 2Possessing up-to-date knowledge.

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

    • 1Cease to correspond or be in communication.

      ‘I lost touch with him when he joined the Air Force’
      • ‘With so many people evacuated in so many directions, families have become separated and people have lost touch with their loved ones.’
      • ‘I went down to 5 ½ stone weight and I lost touch with friends and family.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most of the people who are going through this now had already lost touch with the only community they'd ever known.’
      • ‘Soon the cattle were sold and, over time, the farmer's wife lost touch with the farming community around her.’
      • ‘It was after - I lost touch with Erik for a few months, probably six months.’
      • ‘I'd lost touch with him, and was meaning to look him up.’
      • ‘Since becoming single again, I've been making an effort to get back in touch with old friends I'd stupidly lost touch with.’
      contact, communication, correspondence, connection, association
      View synonyms
    • 2Cease to be aware or informed.

      ‘we cannot lose touch with political reality’
      • ‘They are very keen that their children should not lose touch with their culture.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘According to this other picture, we in the West have lost touch with our humanity and with the community-mindedness of our ancestors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 is the fate of modernism that we repeatedly lose touch with nature, the environment, the planet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We've lost touch with the first principle of any democratic community: Live and let live.’
  • out of touch

    • 1Lacking knowledge or information concerning current events and developments.

      ‘he seems surprisingly out of touch with recent economic thinking’
      • ‘Dame Stella is somewhat out of touch with modern archive services, which can be innovative and challenging.’
      • ‘Let's be clear: Davis is man completely out of touch with modern society.’
      • ‘Rarely has the church appeared so out of touch with present-day Scotland than it did during the cardinal's sermon.’
      • ‘It shows he's out of touch what's been going on in America over the last three years.’
      • ‘There was also a discussion after the dinner about whether the media elite is out of touch with America.’
      • ‘If that's true, then the UBP and the community are out of touch with the way the capital punishment debate is going.’
      • ‘I am completely out of touch with what's going on in the world.’
      • ‘Some people are impermeable to information or wholly out of touch with the topical subjects of the day.’
      1. 1.1Lacking in awareness or sympathy.
        ‘we have been betrayed by a government out of touch with our values’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘People who deride the poor for laziness are out of touch with the difficulty of finding decent jobs.’
        • ‘Bangladesh played well today and Australia seemed a bit out of touch.’
        • ‘They were historic movies out of touch with history, out of touch with morality.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘This president is completely out of touch with reality, and it showed again in his speech today.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘But researchers say parents appeared out of touch with their concerns.’
  • to the touch

    • Used to describe the qualities of something perceived by touching it or the sensations felt by someone who is touched.

      ‘the ankle was swollen and painful to the touch’
      ‘the silk was slightly rough to the touch’
      • ‘It felt sticky to the touch, so we dissuaded my son from sitting in it.’
      • ‘Why are parts of my body cold to the touch when I don't actually feel cold in those places?’
      • ‘Her whole body seemed to be throbbing and every millimeter of her skin was painful to the touch.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For some strange reason, everything around seems to be slightly warm to the touch but that may be me.’
      • ‘The tube gets only slightly warm to the touch, and does not present a burn danger.’
      • ‘My entire face is the colour of a fire engine and sore 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.’
      • ‘He's curled up in bed, burning hot to the touch, yet complaining of being cold.’
      • ‘Inflammation occurs and the lip is tender to the touch and so are, sometimes, the gums.’
  • touch bottom

    • 1Reach the bottom of a body of water with one's feet or a pole.

      • ‘My feet touch bottom… It's cold in the water, but I'm warm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Allie sighed in exhausted relief when her wobbly feet touched bottom once more.’
      • ‘He sank below the surface, and his feet touched bottom!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Suddenly your feet don't touch bottom any more and you notice you are farther from the beach.’
      • ‘Then I let myself down into the water which, on touching bottom, proved to be several feet over my head in depth.’
      • ‘Divers from the U.S. Geological Survey once descended 300 feet into the waters of Devils Hole but they never 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.’
      • ‘Her feet touched bottom and she stood up slowly, revelling in the water flowing from her as she rose from the pool.’
      1. 1.1Be at the lowest or worst point.
        ‘the housing market has touched bottom’
        • ‘Still, no one knows whether the economy has touched bottom or is simply pausing before heading south again.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘There are, however, hints that the chain has touched bottom.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • touch at

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

      • ‘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

    • (of an aircraft or spacecraft) make contact with the ground in landing.

      • ‘The areas where the aircraft touched down began to crack and crumble.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When his aircraft touched down at Shannon Airport he failed to appear from his vodka-induced slumbers to greet his Irish hosts.’
      • ‘The aircraft may have also touched down at a sideways angle.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Air Force One delivers the American President, and whenever this enormous aircraft touches down or takes off a powerful statement is made.’
      • ‘We were still turning as we approached, dangerously close to the ground, and touched down heavily.’
      • ‘Both engines quit due to fuel starvation when the aircraft touched down.’
      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 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.’
      • ‘When you touch it off though, it gets your attention.’
      • ‘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!’
      detonate, set off, trigger, explode, spark, spark off
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Cause something to happen, especially suddenly.
        ‘there was concern that the move could touch off a trade war’
        • ‘But apparently what really touched it off was his discussion of the creation of a Palestinian state as part of administration policy.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘The killer waves were touched off by a 9.0 earthquake, six miles under the Indian Ocean.’
        • ‘There is an incident of some kind that touches it off.’
        • ‘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.’
        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
  • touch on (or upon)

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

      ‘he touches upon several themes from the last chapter’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We talked for forty-five minutes, briefly touching on the subject of last Saturday night, but mostly dancing around it.’
      • ‘This is a beautifully written book, touching on a subject that touches us all one day.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He packs in a great deal of information and touches on many subjects.’
      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 something up

    • Make small improvements to something.

      ‘these paints are handy for touching up small areas on walls or ceilings’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The workmen are busy touching things up and adjusting the projections.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I may touch it up at some point, but probably won't.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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
      View synonyms


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.