Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A portable light produced by the flame of a stick of resinous wood or of a flammable material wound about the end of a stick of wood; a flambeau.
  • n. Chiefly British A flashlight.
  • n. Something that serves to illuminate, enlighten, or guide.
  • n. Slang An arsonist.
  • n. A portable apparatus that produces a very hot flame by the combustion of gases, used in welding and construction.
  • transitive v. Slang To cause to burn or undergo combustion, especially with extraordinary rapidity, force, or thoroughness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. A portable light source powered by electricity; a flashlight.
  • v. To set fire to, especially by use of a torch (flaming stick).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A light or luminary formed of some combustible substance, as of resinous wood; a large candle or flambeau, or a lamp giving a large, flaring flame.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A similar torch used in plumbing, gas-fitting, electric-wiring, etc., for giving a heating flame wherever a condensed hot flame is required. It is made in many forms. Where air-pressure is used it is called a gasolene blow-torch. It is sometimes used as a paint-burner
  • n. A lamplighters' torch using gasolene.
  • n. A light to be carried in the hand, formed of some combustible substance, as resinous wood, or of twisted flax, hemp, etc., soaked with tallow or other inflammable substance; a link; a flambeau.
  • n. An oil-lamp borne on a pole or other appliance for carrying a light easily and without danger.
  • To fish with the aid of a torch by night.
  • To flare or smoke like a torch; rise like the smoke from a torch: with up: as, how those clouds torch up!
  • In plastering, to point with lime and hair: said of the inside joints of slating laid on lathing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. burn maliciously, as by arson
  • n. tall-stalked very woolly mullein with densely packed yellow flowers; ancient Greeks and Romans dipped the stalks in tallow for funeral torches
  • n. a light usually carried in the hand; consists of some flammable substance
  • n. a small portable battery-powered electric lamp
  • n. a burner that mixes air and gas to produce a very hot flame

Etymologies

Middle English torche, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *torca, alteration of Latin torqua, variant of torquēs, torque, from Latin torquēre, to twist; see terkw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French torche, ultimately from Latin torqueō ("twist"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I'm with you there, c_b.

    April 8, 2008

  • Well, the actual flame that the torch is lit from is apparently kept in a "separate container." (This made me wonder what the hell kind of container it is.) But I do loves me summa that Olympics. Oh yeys, I loves me the Olympics.

    April 8, 2008

  • Not sure what exactly the fuzz are protecting. The flame's lame.

    April 8, 2008

  • Good grief. If this weren't so sad, I'd think it was an Onion spoof.

    April 8, 2008

  • Cops on Rollerblades
    Protect the Olympic flame.
    Busing of the torch?

    Olympic Torch Relay in Paris Halted as Protests Spread, The New York Times, April 8, 2008.

    April 8, 2008