touching


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to touching: touching cloth, touching yourself

be touching cloth

vulgar slang To have a very urgent or desperate need to defecate. (Refers jokingly to one's feces protruding into one's underpants.) Boy, it's a good thing we got home when we did—I was touching cloth on the way here!
See also: cloth, touching

be touching cotton

vulgar slang To have a very urgent or desperate need to defecate. (Refers jokingly to one's feces protruding into one's underpants.) Boy, it's a good thing we got home when we did—I was touching cotton on the way here!
See also: cotton, touching

let alone

1. verb To stop bothering someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "let" and "alone." Why do you keep picking at that scab on your knee? Let it alone already! For the last time, let your brother alone—he needs to study!
2. expression Not to mention. The phrase is used to emphasize that if other more significant or pressing things are not possible or cannot be accommodated, a lesser thing certainly is not or cannot either. I hardly had time to brush my teeth this morning, let alone do my hair! We can't afford a vacation, let alone a trip to Disney World.
See also: alone, let

touch (on) a sore point

To evoke a strong and negative emotional reaction in someone; to do or say something that upsets someone in a deeply personal way. Your column must have touched a sore point with readers, because we are getting slammed with negative feedback. I could tell he was touching on a sore point, because Jane went deathly silent when he brought up her former employer.
See also: point, sore, touch

touch (on) a sore spot

To evoke a strong and negative emotional reaction in someone; to do or say something that upsets someone in a deeply personal way. Your column must have touched a sore spot with readers, because we are getting slammed with negative feedback. I could tell he was touching on a sore spot, because Jane went deathly silent when he brought up her former employer.
See also: sore, spot, touch

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.
See also: all, bases, touch

touch (one) for (something)

To beg or wheedle something (usually money or food) as a handout from one. I could see old Tommy shuffling towards me, and I knew he was going to try to touch me for a few dollars so he could buy a drink. You can't just touch your parents for cash every time you're hard up.
See also: for, touch

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.
See also: forelock, touch

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.
See also: bottom, touch

touch (someone's) hem

To express one's respect, fealty, awe, subjection, or reverence to someone else. An illusion to the Biblical story of a woman who was healed by Jesus after she surreptitiously touched the hem of his garment. You're a man of great power and influence, sir. If you touch this fool's hem, it could have serious global repercussions.
See also: hem, touch

touch (someone's) robe

To express one's respect, fealty, awe, subjection, or reverence to someone else. An illusion to the Biblical story of a woman who was healed by Jesus after she surreptitiously touched his garment. You're a man of great power and influence, sir. If you touch this fool's robe, it could have serious global repercussions.
See also: robe, 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.
See also: nerve, touch

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.
See also: chord, touch

touch at (some place)

Of a sea craft, to drop anchor at some location. We decided to sail from Florida to New York, touching at Charleston, Beaufort, and Norfolk along the way. By the time we finally touched at port, our provisions were running dangerously low.
See also: touch

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?
See also: base, touch

touch down

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.
See also: down, touch

touch off

1. To start a fire or detonate an explosive device. He touched off the firework just as the school assembly was about to begin. Don't smoke in here! You might touch off the dry hay.
2. By extension, to trigger or initiate a reaction. A noun or pronoun can be used between "touch" and "off." Our teacher is so high-strung that the slightest provocation touches him off. The announcement touched off a riot in downtown Los Angeles.
See also: off, touch

touch on (something)

To discuss or deal with some topic informally or in passing. We'll touch on that matter later in the meeting, so let's stay focused on the issue at hand. She touched on the problem, but she didn't get a chance to explain exactly what had happened. The movie touches on themes of loneliness and grief, but doesn't make them the central focus of the characters.
See also: on, touch

touch the hem of (someone's) garment

To express one's respect, fealty, awe, subjection, or reverence to someone else. An allusion to the Biblical story of a woman who was healed by Jesus after she surreptitiously touched the hem of his garment. You're a man of great power and influence. If you touch the hem of this fool's garment, it could have serious global repercussions.
See also: garment, hem, of, touch

touch the hem of (someone's) robe

To express one's respect, fealty, awe, subjection, or reverence to someone else. An illusion to the Biblical story of a woman who was healed by Jesus after she surreptitiously touched the hem of his garment. You're a man of great power and influence, sir. If you touch the hem of this fool's robe, it could have serious global repercussions.
See also: hem, of, robe, touch

touch to (something)

1. To bring something into physical contact with something else. A noun or pronoun is used between "touch" and "to." If you touch each metal wire to the ends of the battery, you create an electrical current. The psychic touched the sealed envelope to his forehead and claimed to know what the letter inside said.
2. To touch someone with one's hands in order to do or communicate something. A noun or pronoun is used between "touch" and "to." I touched his shoulder to let him know I sympathized with him. The doctor touched the injured man to make sure he was still breathing.
3. To affect someone at some deep, emotional level. Often followed by "the quick," "the/someone's core," "the/someone's soul," etc. A noun or pronoun is used between "touch" and "to." I can't even look at her right now. That hurtful remark she made touched me right to the quick. The haunting melody touched me right to my soul. It's a harrowing story that is sure to touch audiences to their cores.
See also: to, touch

touch up

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.
See also: touch, up

touch upon (something)

To discuss or deal with some topic informally or in passing. We'll touch upon that matter later in the meeting, so let's stay focused on the issue at hand. She touched upon the problem, but she didn't get a chance to explain exactly what had happened. The movie touches upon themes of loneliness and grief, but it doesn't make them the central focus of the characters.
See also: touch, upon

touch with (something)

1. To bring something into light contact with someone or something. A noun or pronoun is used between "touch" and "with." He touched the electric fence with his bare hand and got an awful shock from it. A: "Here, let me wipe that muck off your face." B: "Blech! Please don't touch me with that disgusting handkerchief!"
2. To affect someone at a deep, emotional level with some action, performance, words, etc. A noun or pronoun is used between "touch" and "with." You really touched me with your kind words at the ceremony today. She was touched with the way the community rallied around her during the crisis.
See also: touch

within touching distance

1. Physically close enough (to someone or something) as to touch them. That cat's no dummy—she won't go within touching distance of the kids. You're granny is not feeling well right now, so please don't get within touching distance when we go in to say hello, OK? Ugh, the light switch isn't quite within touching distance for me. Can you get it?
2. Very nearly attainable. We were within touching distance of the championship title, but we lost in the final moments of the game. Getting an A this semester will be tough, but if you can ace this next exam, you'll be within touching distance.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

let alone someone or something

not to mention or think of someone or something; not even to take someone or something into account. (Fixed order.) Do I have a dollar? I don't even have a dime, let alone a dollar. I didn't invite John, let alone the rest of his family.
See also: alone, let

let someone or something alone

 and leave someone or something alone; leave someone or something be
to avoid touching, bothering, or communicating with someone or something. Leave me alone. I don't want your help. Let it alone! Don't touch it! It may be hot!
See also: alone, let

touch down

[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?
See also: down, touch

touch someone or something off

Fig. to ignite or excite someone or something; to excite anger or chaos. She is very excitable. The slightest thing will touch her off. The appearance of the fox touched off a furor in the henhouse.
See also: off, touch

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.
See also: touch, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

let alone

2. Not to mention, as in We have no room for another house guest, let alone an entire family. [c. 1800]
See also: alone, let

touch down

Land on the ground, as in The spacecraft touched down on schedule. This idiom was first recorded in 1935.
See also: down, touch

touch off

1. Cause to explode or fire; also, initiate, trigger. For example, The boys touched off a whole line of firecrackers, or These disclosures will touch off a public uproar. This idiom comes from early firearms, which were set off by putting a light to the touch-hole. Its figurative use dates from the late 1800s.
2. Depict very precisely, as in He touched off Teddy Roosevelt as well as it's ever been done. [Mid-1700s]
See also: off, touch

touch up

Make minor changes or improvements, as in This wall needs some touching up but not complete repainting. [Early 1700s]
See also: touch, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

let aˈlone

used after a statement to emphasize that because the first thing is not true or possible, the next thing cannot be true or possible either: I wouldn’t speak to him, let alone trust him or lend him money.She didn’t even apologize, let alone offer to pay for the damage.
See also: alone, let
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

touch down

v.
To make contact with the ground; land: The tornado touched down in a remote area.
See also: down, touch

touch off

v.
1. To cause something to explode or rapidly ignite: The spark touched off the puddle of fuel. A cigarette from a passing motorist touched the dry grass off and started a forest fire.
2. To trigger something; initiate something: Investigators wondered what could have touched the fire off. The news of the scandal touched off a public uproar.
See also: off, touch

touch up

v.
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.
See also: touch, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

let alone

Not to mention; much less: "Their ancestors had been dirt poor and never saw royalty, let alone hung around with them" (Garrison Keillor).
See also: alone, let
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
It was attributed to major surge of 19pc YoY in palm oil imports, touching $1.2 billion in value.
Just as touching is not only for sex, it's also not solely for personal care.
How do children learn the different meanings of touching behaviors?
When he's associated the word "bell" with touching that particular object, you can drop the "touch" part of the cue.
The same formula holds for three touching circles nested within a fourth circle, which is the configuration that Wilks was examining.
In two pilot studies on touching and aggression in same-sex and opposite-sex peer interactions in Miami, very little touching was noted.
Appropriate and inappropriate touching, language, and actions must be defined for all staff on a larger scale.
Now, Simpson and his colleagues say that touching one part in particular--the femur of the hind leg--triggers the shift.
When we hear about parents, teachers, coaches, clergy, and bosses caught touching their children and charges in uninvited, destructive ways, it spooks us all a bit and we get even shyer about touching others.
These devices, usually about the size of an extremely thick clipboard, allow information to be entered by touching a data entry screen with a finger or stylus.
It is in this ambiguity that it images forth the experience of a body touching itself, pressing itself against itself as in a mirror.
He has a unique take on this act, as in so many other aspects of his life: not unlike a third-base coach, he makes a flurry of motions, touching forehead, belly, shoulders, nose, temples, ears, and (finally) tongue, all the while chanting, at a terrific pace, "Father, Son, Spirit Holy."
He can start giving the signs, then flash a signal (touching the top of his cap) to the catcher to take over the signal calling.
Research has shown that among hospitalized patients, the psychotic and the elderly were touched the least.|2,3~ The literature inferred that much of the touching done to the elderly and the dying was "instrumental" (that is, required in the carrying out of tasks) rather than "expressive" (that is, to convey acceptance, nurturing and caring).|4~
Their study, published in the October JOURNAL OF CONSULTING AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, represents a rare attempt to develop guidelines for obtaining information about sexual abuse from children, based on an analysis of youngsters' memories for a real-life situation -- genital touching by a pediatrician during a routine medical exam.