- to ignite a thought
- to make someone angry by inciting a thought
- to excite someone
- to gather traction on a thought or action
- to brush against a topic and trigger a reaction
- The presentation touched off a very important point and I would like to spend some time talking about it.
- I have not seen you get touched off with any of these conversations so far, so what happened today?
- She got a touch off the idea when she visited the lavender gardens in Maine last year. That's how she started her own perfume business.
- You cannot touch off something and then not do anything about it. You must try to make the idea work.
- Every time we meet, we touch off on the same conversation. It is getting stale now to even fight about the same events.
- The tiger's appearance outside the reserve touched off a horror in the village. Everybody was scared to step out for days.
The phrase is American in origin and is believed to be around since the 1700's. It comes from the firearms at the time which would be set off just by lighting the touch hole and is commonly used in political parlance currently.