This is an sentence from OED.

Patrick looked utterly untouched by the previous night’s debauch.

What does untouched mean here? Does it mean that the debauch did not change his appearance? But in this case the adverb 'utterly' confuses me, you usually use 'utterly' when a substancial change has taken place. I would use 'virtually'.

2 Answers 2


Untouched in this context means unaffected. In other words, the previous night's drinking etc. has had no effect on Patrick.

Utterly is used as an intensifier - he is not just unaffected, he is completely unaffected.


The adjective untouched means not affected in this context.

untouched - Not affected, changed, or damaged in any way

The adverb utterly means completely. It emphasizes on he remaining unaffected.

I often use utterly untouched to describe a place which is neat and clean.

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