Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not to be touched.
  • adj. Out of reach; unobtainable.
  • adj. Being beyond the reach of criticism, impeachment, or attack.
  • adj. Loathsome or unpleasant to the touch.
  • n. A member of the class that is excluded from and considered unclean and defiling by the four Hindu castes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not able to be touched.
  • n. A criminal so adept, they cannot be arrested or convicted.
  • n. A pariah.
  • n. In the Indian caste system, a member of the lowest caste.
  • n. An incorruptible law enforcement agent

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not capable of being touched; intangible; unassailable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. beyond the reach of criticism or attack or impeachment
  • adj. ( especially used in traditional Hindu belief of the lowest caste or castes) defiling
  • adj. forbidden to the touch
  • adj. not capable of being obtained
  • n. belongs to lowest social and ritual class in India
  • adj. impossible to assail

Etymologies

un- +‎ touchable (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • While caste discrimination has been outlawed for more than 60 years, and the term "untouchable" is now taboo in public, thousands of anti-dalit attacks occur every year.

    SFGate: Don Asmussen: Bad Reporter

  • Simpson has about $8 million, and this is what you call untouchable money, stuff that they can't touch.

    CNN Transcript Sep 18, 2007

  • "What makes him scary is his ghostlike ability to remain untouchable and enigmatic."

    GreenCine Daily: Zodiac.

  • He was known as the "untouchable" or the "bulldozer": an affable rogue who sailed through one of the longest political careers in

    The Guardian World News

  • The Empire State of Mind hitmaker was personally invited by Jones to take part in the charity single, but, while he is supportive of the cause, he decided against it because he considers the track to be musically "untouchable" - like the King of Pop's Thriller.

    ContactMusic Ltd | Latest News

  • "Wherever he worked," it says on the award site, "Bevins researched rigorously, and regularly broke otherwise untouched - even 'untouchable' - stories."

    The Guardian World News

  • The group comprises of Ms Mayawati, a member of the Dalit - or "untouchable" - caste, who could emerge as the Prime Minister if her Bahujan Samaj Party does exceptionally well.

    TODAYonline

  • Aside from a few inappropriate quips -- which were anticipated, given the ambiguity of the term "untouchable" -- I got some interesting answers.

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  • As a Dalit - an "untouchable" - and a woman, her ascent is already remarkable and a sign of shifting hierarchies and power-bases in India.

    open Democracy News Analysis - Comments

  • Ms Mayawati, a low-caste Dalit - formerly "untouchable" - is an icon for India's 160 million low-caste Hindus.

    British Blogs

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