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untouchable

[uhn-tuhch-uh-buh l] /ʌnˈtʌtʃ ə bəl/
adjective
1.
that may not be touched; of a nature such that it cannot be touched; not palpable; intangible.
2.
too distant to be touched.
3.
vile or loathsome to the touch.
4.
beyond criticism, control, or suspicion:
Modern writers consider no subject untouchable.
noun
5.
Hinduism. the former name given to a member of a lower caste in India whose touch was believed to defile a high-caste Hindu; Harijan.
6.
a person who is beyond reproach as to honesty, diligence, etc.
7.
a person disregarded or shunned by society or a particular group; social outcast:
political untouchables.
8.
a person or thing considered inviolable or beyond criticism:
such untouchables as Social Security in the federal budget.
Origin
1560-1570
1560-70; un-1 + touchable
Related forms
untouchably, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for untouchably

untouchable

/ʌnˈtʌtʃəbəl/
adjective
1.
lying beyond reach
2.
above reproach, suspicion, or impeachment
3.
unable to be touched
noun
4.
(taboo) a former name for Dalit
Derived Forms
untouchability, noun
Usage note
In relation to the caste system, the term untouchable is banned in both the Indian and Pakistani constitutions
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for untouchably

untouchable

adj.

1560s, "immaterial," from un- (1) "not" + touchable (see touch (v.)). Meaning "that legally cannot be interfered with" is recorded from 1734. Meaning "too loathsome or defiling to be touched" is recorded from 1873. The noun, in reference to a hereditary low caste of India, is attested from 1909; the term and the restrictions were made illegal in India in 1947.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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