caress


caress
caress vb Caress, fondle, pet, cosset, cuddle, dandle mean to show affection or love by touching or handling.
Caress implies an expression of tender interest (as by soft stroking or patting) or of affection ordinarily without undue familiarity
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soothing with a touch the wild thing's fright . . . caressed it into peace with light, kind palms— Edwin Arnold

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the little Isaac . . . leans . . . against his father's knee . . . while Abraham's left hand quiets him and caresses the boy's face— Henry Adams

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Fondle implies doting fondness and frequently lack of dignity ; it usually suggests attentions (as hugging or kissing) more obvious and less gentle than caressing
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fondle a baby

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all that he was good for, she said, was to fondle and fumble and kiss— Graves

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dwarf trees that had to be fondled and humored— Brooks

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Pet, sometimes, and cosset imply special attentions and indulgences including more or less fondling
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the petted child of the family

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died ... in the newest and largest of hospitals petted by all her nurses— Jarrell

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soothed and cosseted by his aunt— Cather

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In recent use pet more often stresses flirtatious or amorous fondling and sometimes suggests undue familiarity
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a petting party

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Cuddle chiefly suggests the action of a mother or nurse in drawing a child close to her breast to keep it warm, happy, and quiet
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little boys . . . who have kind mammas to cuddle them— Kingsley

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The term may be extended to other attentions which imply a desire to protect and keep warm and contented
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Temple seems . . . to have been coaxed, and warmed, and cuddled by the people round about him— Thackeray

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we might cuddle up to the world in a comfortable attitude— Langer

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Dandle suggests playful handling of a child (as by moving him up and down lightly on one's knee)
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the mother cuddles, but the father dandles, their little boy

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In its extended use dandle usually implies toying with especially in a playful but pampering manner
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editors, scholars, merchants, even the noble lords and ladies feted and dandled him— Eastman

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Analogous words: *trifle, toy, dally, flirt, coquet: cherish, *nurse

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Caress — Ca*ress , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Caressed} (k[.a]*r[e^]st ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Caressing}.] [F. caresser, fr. It. carezzare, fr. carezza caress. See {Caress}., n.] To treat with tokens of fondness, affection, or kindness; to touch or speak to in a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caress — [n] loving touch cuddle, embrace, endearment, feel, fondling, hug, kiss, pat, pet, petting, snuggle, squeeze, stroke; concepts 375,590 caress [v] touch lovingly bear hug*, brush, buss, clinch, clutch, coddle, cosset, cuddle, dandle, embrace, feel …   New thesaurus

  • caress — [kə res′] vt. [Fr caresser < It carezzare; ult. < L carus, dear: see CHARITY] 1. to touch or stroke lovingly or gently; also, to embrace or kiss: often used figuratively, as of a voice or music 2. to treat kindly or affectionately n. an… …   English World dictionary

  • Caress — Ca*ress (k[.a]*r[e^]s ), n. [F. caresse, It. carezza, LL. caritia dearness, fr. L. carus dear. See {Charity}.] An act of endearment; any act or expression of affection; an embracing, or touching, with tenderness. [1913 Webster] Wooed her with his …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • caress — (n.) 1640s, from Fr. caresse (15c.), from It. carezza, from caro “dear,” from L. carus (see WHORE (Cf. whore)). The verb is 1650s, from Fr. caresser, from It. carezzare endearment, from carezza. Related: Caressed; caressing …   Etymology dictionary

  • caress — ► VERB ▪ touch or stroke gently or lovingly. ► NOUN ▪ a gentle or loving touch. DERIVATIVES caressing adjective caressingly adverb. ORIGIN French caresser, from Latin carus dear …   English terms dictionary

  • caress — I UK [kəˈres] / US verb [transitive] Word forms caress : present tense I/you/we/they caress he/she/it caresses present participle caressing past tense caressed past participle caressed 1) to move your hands gently over someone s face or body in a …   English dictionary

  • caress — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ gentle, soft ▪ the gentle caress of his fingers ▪ tender, warm {{Roman}}II.{{/Roman}} verb ADVERB …   Collocations dictionary

  • caress — I n. a gentle caress II v. to caress gently * * * [kə res] a gentle caress to caressgently …   Combinatory dictionary

  • caress — [[t]kəre̱s[/t]] caresses, caressing, caressed VERB If you caress someone, you stroke them gently and affectionately. [WRITTEN] [V n] He was gently caressing her golden hair. Syn: stroke N COUNT Caress is also a noun. Margaret took me to one side …   English dictionary


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