209 Words To Describe Touch

209 Words To Describe Touch


Writers Write is your one-stop resource for writers. We have put together a list of words that will help you describe what a character feels when they touch something with their fingertips or skin.

Touch – Under your fingertips

You have to use the five senses when you write. Readers want to experience what your characters see, smell, hear, taste, and touch.

‘Description composed of sensory detail penetrates layers of consciousness, engaging your reader emotionally as well as intellectually…’ ~Rebecca McClanahan

I find that touch is the sense that is most ignored by writers. I think it is often the most difficult to describe. Don’t leave it out. The sense of touch is so important because touch confirms that our eyes aren’t deceiving us. Readers identify with characters who engage with their worlds.

Top Writing Tip For Touch: 

Beginner writers tend to confuse touch with feel. For example: ‘I see the river. I hear the sirens. I feel confused.’ Should be: ‘I see the river. I hear the sirens. I touch the wet leaves.’ If you try to say touch whenever you can, you should avoid this problem.

Texture describes the way something feels when touched or eaten. It also describes the way something looks or feels because of the way in which it is made. For the purposes of this article, I want to concentrate on the first definition.

209 Words To Describe Touch

Use this list of words to help you describe touch when you write.

The ABCs of Touch

  • Abrasive, Ample, Angular
  • Bald, Barbed, Bendable, Blemished, Blistered, Bloated, Blunt, Bristly, Broken, Bubbly, Bulging, Bulky, Bumpy, Bushy
  • Caked, Carved, Chafing, Chapped, Chunky, Circular, Clammy, Clean, Coarse, Cold, Cool, Corrugated, Cratered, Crenelated, Crocheted, Cushioned
  • Damaged, Damp, Dehydrated, Dense, Dented, Dirty, Distended, Distorted,  Doughy, Downy, Drenched, Dry, Dusty,
  • Embossed, Enamelled, Encrusted, Engorged, Engraved, Etched, Even
  • Fat, Feathery, Filmy, Firm, Flat, Fleecy, Flimsy, Fluffy, Fluted, Fragile, Freezing, Frigid, Frothy, Furry, Fuzzy,
  • Gelatinous, Glassy, Glazed, Glossy, Glutinous, Gnarled, Gooey, Gossamer, Grainy, Granular, Grating, Gravelly, Greasy, Grimy, Gritty, Grooved, Grubby
  • Hairy, Hard, Harsh, Hollow, Hot
  • Icy, Impenetrable, Imprinted, Indented, Inflated, Inlaid, Inscribed, Ironed, Irregular, Itchy
  • Jagged
  • Knitted
  • Layered, Leathery, Level, Limp, Lined, Long-haired, Loose, Luke-warm, Lumpy
  • Malleable, Metallic, Moist, Mosaic, Mushy
  • Narrow, Neat
  • Oily, Ornamented
  • Padded, Patterned, Pleated, Pliable, Pockmarked, Pointed, Pointy, Polished, Pot-holed, Prickly, Printed, Pulpy
  • Ragged, Rasping, Razor-sharp, Refined, Ribbed, Ridged, Rigid, Rough, Rubbery, Rusty, Rutted
  • Sandy, Saturated, Scalding, Scarred, Scored, Scraped, Scratched, Sculptured, Serrated, Shaggy, Sharp-edged, Sheer, Silky, Slick, Slimy, Slippery, Smooth, Soaked, Soapy, Sodden, Soft, Soggy, Soiled, Solid, Sopping, Spiky, Spiny, Spongy, Springy, Steely, Stiff, Sticky, Stubbly, Stuccoed, Sweaty, Swollen, Syrupy
  • Thick, Thin, Thorny, Throbbing, Tiled, Tough, Tweedy
  • Unblemished, Unbreakable, Uncomfortable, Uneven, Unyielding
  • Varnished, Velvety, Veneered, Vibrating, Viscous
  • Warm, Waterlogged, Wavy, Wet, Wide, Wiry, Withered, Woollen, Woven, Wrinkled
  • Yielding
  • Zigzag

We love the senses at Writers Write. We spend a lot of time helping writers perfect showing and not telling on our creative writing course.

 by Amanda Patterson

© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. 106 Ways To Describe Sounds
  2. 20 Words Used To Describe Specific Tastes And Flavours
  3. 60 Things For Your Characters To Do When They Talk Or Think
  4. Three Simple Ways To Show And Not Tell
  5. 12 Crucial Things To Remember About Setting

Top Tip: If you want to learn how to write a book, sign up for our online course or join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg.

This article has 6 comments

  1. Naomi Hinshaw-Hersh

    I just used “touch” a while ago, in regards to my deepest feelings. I had been touched profoundly by the outpouring of love shown to me.

  2. Troy lion

    Can we say gentle touch?

  3. Troy lion

    Can we say gentle touch?

  4. KKRISH ARORA

    I stand touched by your elaboration of wast scope of touchy expressions of the sense ….TOUCH

  5. kamea

    Hi,how adout sound

  6. Michelle Wallace

    This is excellent. Thank you.

Comments are now closed.