Definitions

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

  • n. See jewelweed.
  • n. See sensitive plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several unrelated plants which react when touched.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See impatiens.
  • n. Squirting cucumber. See under cucumber.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the genus Impatiens, especially I. Nolitangere, so called because the ripe seed-vessel explodes at the touch.
  • n. In medicine, a tubercular affection, occurring especially about the face; noli-me-tangere; lupus.

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

  • n. prostrate or semi-erect subshrub of tropical America, and Australia; heavily armed with recurved thorns and having sensitive soft grey-green leaflets that fold and droop at night or when touched or cooled
  • n. North American annual plant with usually yellow or orange flowers; grows chiefly on wet rather acid soil
  • n. Mediterranean vine having oblong fruit that when ripe expels its seeds and juice violently when touched

Etymologies

From the bursting of the ripe seedpods when touched.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • There were lots of different species, as I recall, pretty typical of seepage swamp: black ash and cottonwood, buckthorn, marsh marigold, Virginia creeper, touch-me-not, wood nettle.

    FALSE MERMAID

  • And all that juicy red lip gloss our boy was laying on your touch-me-not zones.

    Silver Zombie

  • She plucked a wildflower, a touch-me-not, and dropped it in a basket woven of reeds.

    Vermilion Drift

  • He smells every starling and chipmunk and fox, every lichen and fern and touch-me-not bursting up through dead leaves on his trail.

    Moving Among Them

  • And I was, all stiff and touch-me-not and very pointedly avoiding the question of whether she was going to hitch a ride from me and Dodie in our little Eclipse.

    Archive 2008-10-01

  • So thick are the palisades of thorny mimosa -- an aggressive weed akin to the touch-me-not -- that India's endangered one-horned rhino can no longer move about freely in Kaziranga National Park.

    Attack Of the Aliens

  • But, above all, they had the modesty of pride, a chaste reserve, a/touch-me-not/which at a maturer age might have seemed intentional coyness, so much did their demeanor inspire a wish to know them.

    The Commission in Lunacy

  • Mark Normanby was Angela's brother-in-law, married to her sister Daphne, so I suppose she thought she needn't take any notice of him, though he's something frightfully high up in the government, and incredibly clever, and incidentally terribly gorgeous, in a touch-me-not way.

    Farthing

  • When he finally did, when he folded his arms into a touch-me-not kind of defensiveness, she settled back in the opposite comfy corner and watched scenery flash by in silence.

    Devil's Bargain

  • And yet for all his oddity wearing an air ... an air of hauteur, of touch-me-not aloofness ... which set him still further apart.

    Ultima Thule

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