touch off
transitive verb Date: circa 1765 1. to describe or characterize with precision 2. a. to cause to explode by or as if by touching with fire b. to provoke or initiate with sudden intensity <
the verdict touched off local riots
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New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • touch off — (something) to cause something violent or destructive to start. Plans for a new homeless shelter touched off a storm of protest. Windblown wires touched off the blaze. There was a dramatic fall in stock prices, and no one is sure what touched it… …   New idioms dictionary

  • touch off — ► touch off 1) cause (something) to ignite or explode by touching it with a match. 2) cause to happen suddenly. Main Entry: ↑touch …   English terms dictionary

  • touch off — index launch (initiate) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • touch off — verb put in motion or move to act (Freq. 3) trigger a reaction actuate the circuits • Syn: ↑trip, ↑actuate, ↑trigger, ↑activate, ↑set off, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • touch off — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms touch off : present tense I/you/we/they touch off he/she/it touches off present participle touching off past tense touched off past participle touched off to make something unpleasant or dangerous happen The… …   English dictionary

  • touch off — PHRASAL VERB If something touches off a situation or series of events, it causes it to start happening. [V P n (not pron)] Is the massacre likely to touch off a new round of violence? [Also V n P] …   English dictionary

  • touch-off — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ noun ( s) Etymology: touch off : something that is touched off; specifically : a fire of incendiary origin …   Useful english dictionary

  • touch off — verb To start; to cause, especially used for unstable situations that may magnify if disturbed. Be cautious talking about religion or politics, lest you touch off an argument …   Wiktionary

  • touch off — I (Roget s IV) v. 1. [To cause to explode] Syn. detonate, light the fuse, light, set off; see explode 1 . 2. [To cause to start] Syn. start, initiate, release; see begin 1 , cause 2 . II (Roget s Thesaurus II) I verb 1. To release or cause to… …   English dictionary for students

  • touch off — {v.} 1. To cause to fire or explode by lighting the priming or the fuse. * /The boy touched off a firecracker./ Compare: SET OFF. 2. To start something as if by lighting a fuse. * /The coach s resignation touched off a quarrel./ Compare: SET OFF …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • touch off — {v.} 1. To cause to fire or explode by lighting the priming or the fuse. * /The boy touched off a firecracker./ Compare: SET OFF. 2. To start something as if by lighting a fuse. * /The coach s resignation touched off a quarrel./ Compare: SET OFF …   Dictionary of American idioms

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