late 13c., "make deliberate physical contact with," from Old French tochier "to touch, hit, knock; mention, deal with" (11c., Modern French toucher), from Vulgar Latin *toccare "to knock, strike" as a bell (source also of Spanish tocar, Italian toccare), perhaps of imitative origin. Related: Touched; touching.
From c. 1300 in the transitive sense "bring into physical contact," also "pertain to." Other senses attested from 14c. are "perceive by physical contact, examine by sense of touch," also "be or come into physical contact with; come to rest on; border on, be contiguous with;" also "use the sense of touch," and "mention, describe." From early 14c. as "affect or move mentally or emotionally," with notion of to "touch" the heart or mind. Also from early 14c. as "have sexual contact with." Meaning "to get or borrow money" first recorded 1760.
Touch-and-go (adj.) is recorded from 1812, apparently from the name of a tag-like game, first recorded 1650s (however, despite the coincidence, this in no way suggests an acronym origin for tag). Touch football is first attested 1933. Touch-me-not (1590s) translates Latin noli-me-tangere.
c. 1300, from Old French toche "touch, a touching; a blow, attack; a test" (Modern French touche), from tocher "to touch" (see touch (v.)). Meaning "slight attack" (of an illness, etc.) is recorded from 1660s. Sense of "communication" (to be in or out of touch) is from 1884. Sense of "skill or aptitude in some topic" is first recorded 1927, probably from music or the arts. Soft touch "person easily manipulated" is recorded from 1940.
"related notes in music," 1590s, ultimately a shortening of accord (or borrowed from a similar development in French) and influenced by corde "string of a musical instrument" (c. 1300), which is Latin chorda "catgut, a string" of a musical instrument (see cord (n.)).
English cord as a shortening of accord is attested from mid-14c.; cord meaning "music" is attested in English from late 14c. The spelling with an -h- is first recorded c. 1600, from further confusion with chord (n.2) and perhaps also classical correction. Originally two notes sounded simultaneously; of three or more from 18c.
"structure in animals resembling a string," 1540s, alteration of cord (n.), by influence of Greek khorde "gut-string, string of a lyre, tripe," from PIE root *ghere- "gut, entrail."
Meaning "string of a musical instrument" is from 1660s (earlier this was cord). The geometry sense "straight line intersecting a curve" is from 1550s; figurative meaning "feeling, emotion" first attested 1784, from the notion of the heart or mind as a stringed instrument.
"excessive sensitivity to touch," 1837, from German hyperaphia (1820s), from Greek aphe "touch;" also see hyper-. Related: hyperaphic "having morbid sensitiveness to touch" (1888).
1900, from thigmo-, combining form meaning "touch," from Greek thigma "touch" + tropism.
1650s, "sense of touch or feeling" (with an isolated instance, tacþe from c. 1200), from Latin tactus "a touch, handling, sense of touch," from root of tangere "to touch," from PIE root *tag- "to touch, handle." Meaning "sense of discernment in action or conduct, diplomacy, fine intuitive mental perception" first recorded 1804, from development in French cognate tact. The Latin figurative sense was "influence, effect."