Touch or Feel?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between touch and feel?

To touch means to come in contact physically with something. Example:
  • Touch the glass.
To feel means to touch something in order to discover something about it. Example:
  • Feel how cold the glass is.

Touch or Feel?

The verbs to touch and to feel have similar meanings, but there is a subtle difference between them.


The verb to touch means to make physical contact with something (usually with the hand or finger). To touch can also be used figuratively with the meaning to invoke a feeling of affection, gratitude, or sympathy. For example:
  • For a moment, our fingers touched.
  • (Here, to touch means to make physical contact. This is the most common meaning of to touch.)
  • Your painting touched me.
  • (Here, to touch means to invoke a feeling of emotion.)
As a noun, a touch is a small amount of something. For example:
  • The mixture needs a touch of sugar.
  • (Here, touch is a noun. It means a small amount.)


    The verb to feel means to be aware of something (or to learn about something) by touching it. It also means to experience an emotion or sensation. For example:
    • Feel the softness of this material.
    • (Here, to feel means to learn about something by touching it.)
    • I feel excited for the holiday.
    • (Here, to feel means to experience an emotion.)
    Interactive Exercise
    Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited and printed to create exercise worksheets.

    See Also

    adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
    What are nouns? List of easily confused words