caress

1 of 2

verb

ca·​ress kə-ˈres How to pronounce caress (audio)
caressed; caressing; caresses

transitive verb

1
: to treat with tokens of fondness, affection, or kindness : cherish
the regiment was fed and caressed at station after stationStephen Crane
2
a
: to touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
She caressed the baby's cheek.
b
: to touch or affect as if with a caress
echoes that caress the ear
caresser noun
caressingly adverb

caress

2 of 2

noun

1
: an act or expression of kindness or affection : endearment
when the gifts and caresses of mankind shall recompense the toils of studySamuel Johnson
2
a
: a light stroking, rubbing, or patting
a gentle caress of her shoulder
b
: kiss
She gave him a parting caress.
caressive adjective
caressively adverb

Examples of caress in a Sentence

Verb She caressed the baby's cheek. A warm breeze caressed her face. Noun She gave the baby's cheek a gentle caress.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
In one sequence in the film’s middle section, beefy boys caress one another in bed; toward the end, Black men in ’20s garb twirl to ’80s beats at a gay club. Alex Greenberger, ARTnews.com, 12 July 2024 Brown had a gray backpack slung over his right shoulder, and at one point was seen gently caressing the side of Watson's face. David Faris, Newsweek, 9 July 2024
Noun
Galitzine knows how to touch someone for maximum effect, the gentle-but-firm cupping of Hathaway’s jaw and the smooth caress of her hips. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 2 May 2024 There are perfumes inspired by tears, slow caresses, erotic nights, the color red, the trait of extroversion. Molly Young, New York Times, 19 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for caress 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'caress.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

French caresser, from Italian carezzare, from carezza — see caress entry 2

Noun

French caresse, from Italian carezza, from caro dear, from Latin carus — more at charity

First Known Use

Verb

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of caress was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near caress

Cite this Entry

“Caress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caress. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

caress

noun
ca·​ress
kə-ˈres
1
: a tender or loving touch or hug
2
: a light stroking, rubbing, or patting
caress verb

More from Merriam-Webster on caress

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