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From Middle English torche, from Old French torche, from Vulgar Latin *torca, from torqua, from Latin torquēs, torquīs (“wreath”), from torqueō (“twist”, verb).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /tɔːtʃ/
- (US) IPA(key): /tɔɹt͡ʃ/
Audio (US) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)tʃ
torch (plural torches)
- A stick with a flame on one end, used chiefly as a light source; a similarly shaped implement with a replaceable supply of flammable material.
- The mob of angry villagers carried torches and pitchforks to the vampire's castle.
- 1984 June–July, Frances A. Harmon, The Olympic Games - For Good and All, Ebony Jr, page 18,
- Eleven days before the start of the Games, a flaming torch is ignited by the sun in Olympia at the ruins of the ancient Temple of Zeus.
- 2007, Lee Mylne, Frommer′s Portable Australia′s Great Barrier Reef, page 87:
- Coconut palms with white-painted trunks surround the lagoon, which is lit by flaming torches at night.
- 2008 April 22-28, Outlook, page 48,
- The degradation of the torch worldwide— it had to be snuffed out more than once to protect it from protesters—even provoked angry Chinese students to mobilise “150 strong and energetic runners” to defend it in Australia, raising the spectre of violence.
- (Commonwealth) A portable light source powered by electricity; a flashlight.
- Ernst slipped and dropped his torch on the flagstones, shattering the bulb and plunging us into darkness.
- 1912, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World […], London; New York, N.Y.: Hodder and Stoughton, →OCLC:
- Lord John had an electric torch in his knapsack, and this had to serve us as light.
- 1974, Robert Shaw, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three:
- I want you to send two unarmed policemen into the tunnel, carrying the money, and waving a torch in front of them.
- 2003, Margo Daly; Anne Dehne, Rough Guide to Australia, page 385:
- There are no streetlights — so you′ll need to bring a torch with you, or buy one from Joy′s Shop, if you want to venture out at night.
- 2006, Marc Llewellyn; Lee Mylne, Frommer′s Australia from $60 a Day, page 365:
- It's a good idea to bring a torch (flashlight) and maybe binoculars for wildlife spotting.
- 2010, Nicholas Tailey; Simon O′Connor, Examination Medicine, Australia: Elsevier, page 349:
- Use your pocket torch and shine the light from the side to gauge the reaction to light on both sides.
- (US) An arsonist.
- 1978, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Governmental Affairs. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Arson-for-hire: hearings before the Permanent Subcommittee..., page 172:
- The torch, after setting up the device, drove to a town many miles from his home and then dialed his home number, successfully starting a fire in his own home.
- 1984, Herbert F. Weisberg, Arson Investigation and Prosecution, page 137:
- Upon the advice of the prosecutor, who was already at the arson unit's office, the torches were not arrested, but "detained" […] The landlord was reluctant to say anything over the phone and suggested that he and the torch should meet.
- 1996, David R. Redsicker; John J. O'Connor, Practical Fire and Arson Investigation, page 358:
- In the first instance, fixed surveillance at the building should be started immediately to try to catch the torch before the act.
- A blowtorch or oxy-gas torch.
- (science fiction) A torch drive ("a spacecraft engine which produces thrust by nuclear fusion").
- (stick with flame at one end): brand
- (portable electric light): flashlight (US)
- acetylene torch
- carry a torch for
- cooking torch
- cutting torch
- dyno torch
- Olympic torch
- oxyacetylene torch
- pass the torch
- put to the torch
- Swedish torch
- tiki torch
- torch ginger
- torch lily
- torch runner
- torch singer
- torch song
- Uhuru Torch
- weed torch
stick with flame at one end
flashlight — see flashlight
torch (third-person singular simple present torches, present participle torching, simple past and past participle torched)
- To set fire to, especially by use of a torch (flaming stick).
- Some hoodlums had torched a derelict automobile, which emitted a ghastly pall of thick, black smoke that filled the street.
- (science fiction) To travel in a spacecraft propelled by a torch drive ("a spacecraft engine which produces thrust by nuclear fusion").
set fire to
- Jesse Sheidlower, editor (2001–2023), “torch, n.; torch, v.”, in Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.
- Alternative form of torche
From Middle Welsh torch, from Proto-Brythonic *torx, from Latin torquis.
torch f (plural torchau)
- plethdorch (“wreath”)
- torchi (“to coil”)
- torchog (“coiled”)
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.|
- R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “torch”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *terkʷ-
- English terms inherited from Middle English
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