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euphemistic slang To masturbate. My ultra-religious aunt scared us silly when we went through puberty with all sorts of myths about what would happen if we touched ourselves.
See also: touch
touch a (raw) nerve
To evoke a strong emotional reaction, such as anger, sadness, or disgust, upon being encountered, heard, read, etc. Your column must have touched a nerve, because we are getting slammed with feedback from readers—and they're not happy. I could tell he was touching a raw nerve when he brought up Jane's former employer and Jane went silent for a moment.
touch base (with someone)
To contact someone to update them or receive an update from them. I was just calling to touch base since it's been a few weeks since we last spoke. Will you please touch base with the marketing team and find out how they're progressing?
To land; to make contact with the ground. We couldn't touch down due to ice on the runway. The storm is expected to touch down sometime around 2 AM.
1. verb To fix minor flaws in or make minor changes to something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "touch" and "up." I'd just like to touch up my makeup before we leave. All you need to do is touch the wall up with a bit of spackle and paint, and it will be as good as new!
2. noun A minor change or fix. As a noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated. The cover is almost ready, it just needs a few touch-ups before we send it to the printer.
touch (one) on the raw
To do or say something (such as mentioning a sensitive topic) that causes one to feel agitated or self-conscious; to touch a nerve. Primarily heard in UK. I accidentally touched Vanessa on the raw by mentioning her new haircut—apparently, she's really unhappy with it.
The last detail added or change made to something to make it complete. Let's not spend too much longer on this. Let's just put the finishing touch on it and get it ready for production. He's been putting the finishing touches on that painting for so long now, I'm starting to think he'll never be satisfied with it.
touch (on) all (the) bases
To include, make reference to, or take action on every desired or required element or aspect (of something). The essay touches all bases, but it doesn't do much to elaborate on them or introduce any new insights. For fans of the genre, the film touches on all the bases.
touch (one's) forelock
To show excessive deference toward someone in a superior position. An allusion to the former act of pulling one's frontmost hair in lieu of having a hat to tip. I hate being in meetings with the CEO because then I have to witness all of the regional managers touching their forelocks like fawning sycophants.
touch a chord (with someone)
To elicit or trigger a strong emotional response to something; to be very poignant. Thank you for speaking, your words really touched a chord with me. The film still touches a chord with younger audiences, even after all these years. In my opinion, nothing touches a chord quite the same way music does.
touch (rock) bottom
To reach the lowest or worst point of a decline. Primarily heard in UK. I knew I had touched rock bottom when I missed my son's birthday party because I was so hungover. That's when I knew I needed to get help. Prices have been falling for weeks during the crash, but the economy has finally touched bottom.
a final adjustment of something; some effort or action that completes something. Norm is in his workshop putting the finishing touches on his latest project.
[for an airplane] to come in contact with the ground; to land. Flight twelve is due to touch down at midnight. When will this plane touch down?
touch something up
to fix up the minor flaws in something; to repair a paint job on something. It's only a little scratch in the finish. We can touch it up easily. Tom touched up the scrape with a little paint.
A small change or addition that serves to complete something. For example, The room still needed a few finishing touches, such as a flower arrangement. This expression is sometimes put as a finishing stroke. [c. 1700]
Land on the ground, as in The spacecraft touched down on schedule. This idiom was first recorded in 1935.
Make minor changes or improvements, as in This wall needs some touching up but not complete repainting. [Early 1700s]
To make contact with the ground; land: The tornado touched down in a remote area.
To improve something by making minor corrections, changes, or additions: I touched up the nicks in the paint to prevent the metal from rusting. The author touched an old essay up and submitted it for publication.