• (RP) IPA: /tɔːtʃ/
  • (America) IPA: /tɔɹtʃ/

torch (plural torches)

  1. 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.
    • 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.
  2. (UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India) 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.
    • 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, Elsevier Australia, [ page 349],
      Use your pocket torch and shine the light from the side to gauge the reaction to light on both sides.
  3. (slang, US) An arsonist.
  4. Short form for blowtorch or oxy-gas torch.
  • (stick with flame at one end) brand
  • (portable electric light) flashlight (US)
Translations Verb

torch (torches, present participle torching; past and past participle torched)

  1. 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.
Synonyms Translations

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