• The use of technology that stimulates the senses of touch and motion, especially to reproduce in remote operation or computer simulation the sensations that would be felt by a user interacting directly with physical objects.
  • The perception of objects by touch and proprioception, especially as involved in nonverbal communication.


  • Relating to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulation of objects using the senses of touch and proprioception.

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Example Sentences

“The latest model of that tablet replaced the click buttons with a haptic system.”

“Touch-screen devices have trained people to be more responsive to haptic sensations.”

“Dogs can be trained using haptics just as easily as using voice commands.”

Word Origin

Greek, late 19th century

Why this word?

“Haptic” is based on the Greek “haptikos,” meaning “able to touch or grasp.” It’s a 19th-century word, but it’s become more relevant in the age of buzzing electronic devices. Haptic technology — also called kinesthetic communication, or 3D touch — gives users physical feedback when a task is accomplished. For example, a haptic buzz acknowledges when a touch-screen button is pressed. If the word “haptic” is new to you, the sensations almost certainly aren’t. In today’s world, people experience haptic notifications from their phones, watches, game controllers, smart home devices, and car safety features, such as lane-departure warnings. 

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