Dictionary: TOT'TER-Y – TOU-PEE, or TOU'PET

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Shaking; trembling or vacillating as if about to fall; unsteady. [Not in use.] [Spenser wrote tottle, as the common people of New England still pronounce it.]


A fowl of the genus Ramphastos; also, a constellation of nine small stars. Cyc.

TOUCH, n. [tuch.]

  1. Contact; the hitting of two bodies; the junction of two bodies at the surface, so that there is no space between them. The mimosa shrinks at the slightest touch.
  2. The sense of feeling or common sensation, one of the five senses. We say, a thing is cold or warm to the touch; silk is soft to the touch. The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine! Pope.
  3. The act of touching. The touch of cold water made him shrink.
  4. The state of being touched. That never touch was welcome to thy hand / Unless I touch'd. Shak.
  5. Examination by a stone. Shak.
  6. Test; that by which any thing is examined. Equity, the true touch of all laws. Carew.
  7. Proof; tried qualities. My friends of noble touch. Shak.
  8. Single act of a pencil on a picture. Never give the least touch with your pencil, till you have well examined your design. Dryden.
  9. Feature; lineament. Of many faces, eyes and hearts, / To have the touches dearest priz'd. Shak.
  10. Act of the hand on a musical instrument. Soft stillness and the night / Become the touches of sweet harmony. Shak.
  11. Power of exciting the affections. Not alone / The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches / Do strongly speak t' us. Shak.
  12. Something of passion or affection. He both makes intercession to God for sinners, and exercises dominion over all men, with a true, natural and sensible touch of mercy. Hooker.
  13. Particular application of any thing to a person. Speech of touch toward others should be sparingly used. [Obs.] Bacon.
  14. A stroke; as, a touch of raillery; a satiric touch. Addison.
  15. Animadversion; censure; reproof. I never bore any touch of conscience with greater regret. King Charles.
  16. Exact performance of agreement. Bacon. I keep touch with my promise. [Obs.] More.
  17. A small quantity intermixed. Madam, I have a touch of your conscience. Shak.
  18. A hint; suggestion; slight notice. A small touch will put him in mind of them. Bacon.
  19. A cant word for a slight essay. Print my preface in such form as, in the bookseller's phrase, will make a sixpenny touch. [Not in use.] Swift.
  20. In music, the resistance of the keys of an instrument to the fingers; as, a heavy touch or light touch.
  21. In music, an organ is said to have a good touch or stop, when the keys close well.
  22. In ship-building, touch is the broadest part of a plank worked top and butt; or the middle of a plank worked anchor-stock fashion; also, the angles of the stern timbers at the counters. Cyc.

TOUCH, v.i. [tuch.]

  1. To be in contact with; to be in a state of junction, so that no space is between. Two spheres touch only at points. Johnson.
  2. To fasten on; to take effect on. Strong waters will touch upon gold, that will not touch silver. Bacon.
  3. To treat of slightly in discourse. Addison. To touch at, to come or go to, without stay. The ship touched at Lisbon. The next day we touched at Sidon. Acts xxvii. To touch on or upon, to mention slightly. If the antiquaries have touched upon it; they have immediately quitted it. Addison. #2. In the sense of touch at. [Little used.]

TOUCH, v.t. [tuch; Fr. toucher; Arm. touicha, touchan or touchein; Goth. tekan, attekan; G. ticken; D. tekken; Sp. and Port. tocar; It. toccare; Gr. θιγω; L. tango, originally tago, (our vulgar tag;) pret. tetigi, pp. tactus. The sense is to thrust or strike. Class Dg. It appears by the laws of Numa Pompilius, that in his days this word was written without n. “Pellex aram Junonis ne tagito.”]

  1. To come in contact with; to hit or strike against. He touched the hollow of his thigh. Gen. xxxii. Matth. ix. Esther drew near and touched the top of the scepter. Esth. v.
  2. To perceive by the sense of feeling. Nothing but body can be touch'd or touch. Creech.
  3. To come to; to reach; to attain to. The God vindictive doom'd them never more, / Ah men unbless'd! to touch that natal shore. Pope.
  4. To try, as gold with a stone. Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed. Shak.
  5. To relate to; to concern. The quarrel toucheth none but thee alone. Shak. [This sense is now nearly obsolete.]
  6. To handle slightly. Brown.
  7. To meddle with. I have not touched the books.
  8. To affect. What of sweet / Hath touch'd my sense, flat seems to this. Milton.
  9. To move; to soften; to melt. The tender sire was touch'd with what he said. Addison.
  10. To mark or delineate slightly. The lines, though touch'd but faintly. Pope.
  11. To infect; as, men touched with pestilent diseases. [Little used.] Bacon.
  12. To make an impression on. Its face must be – so hard that the file will not touch it. Moxon.
  13. To strike, as an instrument of music; to play on. They touch'd their golden harps. Milton.
  14. To influence by impulse; to impel forcibly. No decree of mine, / To touch with lightest moment of impulse / His free will. Milton.
  15. To treat slightly. In his discourse, he barely touched upon the subject deemed the most interesting.
  16. To afflict or distress. Gen. xxvi. To touch up, to repair; or to improve by slight touches or emendations. Addison. To touch the wind, in seamen's language, is to keep the ship as near the wind as possible.

TOUCH-A-BLE, a. [tuch'able.]

That may be touched; tangible.

TOUCH-HOLE, n. [tuch'hole. touch and hole.]

The vent of a cannon or other species of fire-arms, by which fire is communicated to the powder of the charge. It is now called the vent.

TOUCH-I-LY, adv. [tuch'ely.]

With irritation; peevishly.

TOUCH-I-NESS, n. [tuch'iness; from touchy.]

Peevishness; irritability; irascibility. King Charles.

TOUCH-ING, n. [tuch'ing.]

Touch; the sense of feeling.

TOUCH-ING, ppr. [tuch'ing.]

  1. Coming in contact with; hitting; striking; affecting.
  2. Concerning; relating to; with repect to. Now as touching things offered to idols. 1 Cor. viii.
  3. adj. Affecting; moving; pathetic.

TOUCH-ING-LY, adv. [tuch'ingly.]

In a manner to move the passions; feelingly. Garth.


A plant of the genus Impatiens, and another of the genus Momordica.

TOUCH-NEE-DLE, n. [tuch'-needle; touch and needle.]

Touch-needles are small bars of gold, silver and copper, each pure and in all proportions, prepared for trying gold and silver by the touchstone, by comparison with the mark they leave upon it. Cyc.

TOUCH-STONE, n. [tuch'stone; touch and stone.]

  1. A stone by which metals are examined; a black, smooth glossy stone. The touchstone of the ancients was called lapis Lydius, from Lydia in Asia Minor, where it was found.
  2. Any test or criterion by which the qualities of a thing are tried; as, money, the touchstone of common honesty. L'Estrange. Irish touchstone, is the basalt, the stone which composes the Giant's causey. This is said also to be an excellent touchstone.

TOUCH-WOOD, n. [tuch'-wood; touch and wood.]

Decayed wood, used like a match for taking fire from a spark. Howell.

TOUCH-Y, a. [tuch'y. vulgarly techy.]

Peevish; irritable; irascible; apt to take fire. [Not elegant.] Arbuthnot.

TOUGH, a. [tuf; Sax. toh; D. taai; G. zähe. Qu. tight, thick.]

  1. Having the quality of flexibility without brittleness; yielding to force without breaking. The ligaments of animals and India rubber are remarkably tough. Tough timber, like young ash, is the most proper for the shafts and springs of a carriage.
  2. Firm; strong; not easily broken; able to endure hardship; as, an animal of a tough frame. Dryden.
  3. Not easily separated; viscous; clammy; tenacious; ropy; as, tough phlegm.
  4. Stiff; not flexible.

TOUGH-EN, v.i. [tuf'n.]

To grow tough. Mortimer.

TOUGH-EN, v.t. [tuf'n.]

To make tough.


Made or become tough.


Making tough.

TOUGH-LY, adv. [tuf'ly.]

In a tough manner.

TOUGH-NESS, n. [tuf'ness.]

  1. The quality of a substance which renders it in some degree flexible, without brittleness or liability to fracture; flexibility with a firm adhesion of parts; as, the toughness of steel. Dryden.
  2. Viscosity; tenacity; clamminess; glutinousness; as, the toughness of mucus.
  3. Firmness; strength of constitution or texture. Shak.

TOU-PEE, or TOU'PET, n. [Fr. toupet, from touffe, a tuft, or its root.]

A little tuft; a curl or artificial lock of hair.