Touché: Meaning & Definition In English & French

Both French and English speakers use touché, but they don’t always have the same meaning. Learn the uses and translations of this versatile word correctly in both languages.

Even if you’ve never spoken a word of French in your life, you likely have heard the word touché. Used in both French and English, French and English speakers use this bilingual word in a variety of different ways depending on the context and the language.

The two words do not have the same definition when used in English versus French so having a good understanding of the meaning of touché is key for anyone learning French.

Touché pronunciation

In the following video online French teacher demonstrates the correct way to pronounce touché in both French and English. This page on Forvo also offers several audio samples.

Touché meaning in English

It won’t come as any surprise that the word touché comes from the French. Originally brought into the English language in 1907, touché came from the old French verb tochier, which meant “to touch, hit, or knock” and originally came from fencing. Today, the French use the verb toucher to mean to touch or to hit. 

In English, we use touché to acknowledge that a clever or good point has been made against one of our own. An example of this would be: 

“You always say we should support the American economy, but you only drink French wine.” 


Here the person who said “touché” is acknowledging that his speaking partner made a good point against his own. In a similar manner, touché is also used in fencing in order to acknowledge that you’ve been hit by your opponent. 

Touché Meaning: An interjection used to express that a clever or good point has been made against one of our own; used both in French and English.

Touché meaning in French

The French use touché in the same conversational and casual way as English speakers do, but they use it more rarely. If you want to acknowledge that someone has made a good point against your own argument you can instead say:

Tu marques un point. 
Direct translation: You get a point.

Bien vu.
Direct translation: Well seen.

Très juste.
Direct translation: Very spot-on. 

Je m’incline. 
Direct translation: I bow down. 

More uses and translations

But touché is also used in more serious matters. If a missile hits its target, the person in charge of the operation might say “touché” when it touches down.

The French also use touché when someone scores a touchdown in an American football game. Unsurprisingly, touché is, like in English, used in fencing when a player has been hit by their opponent. 

As a verb toucher can also mean to touch, feel, affect or concern. It is one of the more versatile French verbs, which means that its meaning often changes based on the context.

If you’re not sure when to use touché, you can always double check with a French speaker to be sure. But, as always, listening and watching French speakers in movies, music, or TV shows is one of the best ways to get exposure to real life context clues. 

Overall, the French touché and the English touché have their similarities, but they aren’t always used in the exact same way so use your best judgment and learn as you go. 

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About Calli Zarpas

Calli Zarpas, blogger, producer, and content creator, is a lover of all things travel, wellness, and French. Having begun traveling in her teens, Calli visited 30 countries before settling down in France post-college. When she's not writing French-language content for French Learner or traveling the world, you can find Calli creating content for herself and others on InstagramTiktok, and her blog, Wooish.