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torch

torch / tôrch/ • n. chiefly hist. a portable means of illumination such as a piece of wood or cloth soaked in tallow or an oil lamp on a pole, sometimes carried ceremonially. ∎  (usu. the torch) fig. used to refer to a valuable quality, principle, or cause that needs to be protected and maintained: mountain warlords carried the torch of Greek independence. ∎  a blowtorch. ∎ inf. an arsonist. ∎ British term for flashlight. • v. [tr.] inf. set fire to: the shops had been looted and torched. PHRASES: carry a torch for suffer from unrequited love for. put to the torch (or put a torch to) destroy by burning.

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torch

torch figuratively, the valuable quality, principle, or cause, which needs to be protected and maintained.

Torch was the codename for the Allied landings on the western coast of North Africa in 1942.
carry a torch for suffer from unrequited love for.
torch-bearer a person who leads or inspires others in working towards a valued goal (literally, a person who carries a ceremonial torch).

See also pass on the torch.

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torch

torch. Motif, also known as a flambeau, often used in Classical ornament. If inverted, it represents the extinguishing of life and therefore occurs in funerary architecture.

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torch

torch XIII. — (O)F. torche :- Rom. *torca, for L. torqua, f. torquēre twist; the primary meaning is taken to have been ‘something twisted, as tow’.

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torch

torchdebauch, nautch, porch, scorch, torch •blowtorch

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