causing feelings of pity or sympathy; making you feel emotional synonym moving It was a touching story that moved many of us to tears. Word Origin early 16th cent.: from touch + -ing.Extra examples It was a rather touching moment. She went up to the old man and kissed him. It was very touching. He wrote me a touching letter of thanks. I find his devotion to her rather touching. The duet at the end of the first act is a very touching moment.