How to use
'to knock, hit a bell, touch'
; from the sound
to put your hand, finger etc on someone or something
She reached out to touch his arm.
If your house has been burgled, you shouldn't touch anything until the police arrive.
'Don't touch me!' she yelled.
touch somebody on the arm/leg etc
A hand touched her on the shoulder.
no space between
intransitive and transitive
if two things touch, or one thing touches another thing, they reach each other so that there is no space between them
As our glasses touched, he said 'Cheers!'
Her dress was so long that it was touching the ground.
touch something to something
to move something so that it reaches something else with no space between the two things
She touched the handkerchief to her nose.
He touched his lips to her hair.
affect somebody's feelings
to affect someone's emotions, especially by making them feel sympathy or sadness
Her plight has
touched the hearts
of people around the world.
She could sense his concern and it touched her.
have an effect
to have an effect on someone or something, especially by changing or influencing them
He has touched the lives of many people.
Unemployment remains an evil that touches the whole community.
doubt affected him
transitive usually in negatives
to use or handle something
The law doesn't allow him to touch any of the money.
It's a long time since I've touched a piano.
not touch something
to not eat or drink something
What's wrong? You've hardly touched your food.
My grandfather was an alcoholic but I
never touch the stuff
never drink alcohol
to not deal with something that you should deal with
I brought home loads of work, but I haven't touched any of it yet.
not touch somebody/something
to not hurt someone or not damage something
The older boys swore they hadn't touched the child.
Parma had not been touched.
deal with somebody/something
to become involved with or deal with a particular problem, situation, or person
He was the only lawyer who would touch the case.
Everything he touches turns to disaster.
No school would touch a teacher who had been convicted of assault.
reach an amount
especially British English
to reach a particular amount or level
At the time, the unemployment rate was touching 10 percent and rising.
to gently hit or kick a ball - used especially in reports of sports games
Evans was just able to touch the ball away from Wilkinson.
not touch something/somebody (with a bargepole)
not touch something/somebody with a ten-foot pole
used to say that you think someone or something is bad and people should not be involved with them
I wouldn't touch him with a bargepole.
Financial analysts have warned investors not to touch these offers with a ten-foot pole.
be touched with something
to have a small amount of a particular quality
His voice was touched with the faintest of Italian accents.
Her nails had been manicured and lightly touched with colour.
if an expression such as a smile touches your face, your face has that expression for a short time
A smile touched her lips.
relate to something
to be about or to deal with a particular subject, situation, or problem
Though the question touched a new vein, Nelson answered promptly.
The discourse touches many of the issues which are currently popular.
if light touches something, it shines on it
The sun was just touching the tops of the mountains.
nothing/no one can touch somebody/something
used for saying that nothing or no one is as good as a particular person or thing
He describes the events with a passion that no other writer can touch.
touch base (with somebody)
to talk to someone in order to find out how they are or what is happening
I just wanted to touch base and make sure you hadn't changed your mind about seeing me.
to reach the ground at the bottom of a sea, river etc
He swam down but could not touch bottom.
to reach the lowest level or worst condition
The housing market has touched bottom.
➔ touch a (raw) nerve
; ➔ touch wood
when an aircraft touches down, it lands on the ground
The plane finally touched down at Heathrow airport around midday.
in the sport of
, to score by putting the ball on the ground behind the other team's
to persuade someone to give or lend you something, especially money
He tried to touch me for the taxi fare home.
touch something ↔
to cause a difficult situation or violent events to begin
It was these national rivalries that eventually touched off the First World War.
touch on/upon something
to mention a particular subject when talking or writing
The report touches on the relationship between poverty and poor health.
These issues were touched on in Chapter 2.
touch somebody/something ↔
to improve something by changing it slightly or adding a little more to it
She quickly touched up her lipstick.
The photograph had obviously been touched up.
The speech he finally gave had been touched up by his staff.
to touch someone in a sexual way when they do not want you to
He was accused of touching up one of his students.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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