caress

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

Definition of caress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to treat with tokens of fondness, affection, or kindness : cherish the regiment was fed and caressed at station after station— Stephen Crane
2a : 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

caress

noun

Definition of caress (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from caress

Verb

caresser noun
caressingly \ kə-​ˈre-​siŋ-​lē How to pronounce caressingly (audio) \ adverb

Noun

caressive \ kə-​ˈre-​siv How to pronounce caressive (audio) \ adjective
caressively adverb

Synonyms for caress

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The film includes a sequence in a gay bar, frequent male nudity, a bare-assed spanking and a scene in which Freddy Krueger caresses Jesse's face before sticking a clawed finger in his mouth. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street': Film Review," 26 Feb. 2020 In the movie’s most poignant image, one elephant mournfully caresses a fallen comrade’s bleached-white skeleton with its trunk, as if in grim acknowledgment of the fate that could soon await them all. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Disneynature doc ‘Elephant’ is gorgeous if much too obvious (tusk, tusk)," 1 Apr. 2020 People gently caressed his head to pacify the man who seemed to be in his 60s. Amanat Khullar, Quartz India, "Religious zeal shattered Delhi’s lives and dreams. Religious zeal is now picking up the pieces, too," 28 Feb. 2020 Another guest described feeling the sensation of having her face caressed by invisible hands. Diane J. Cho, PEOPLE.com, "Are you Brave Enough to Stay in These Famously Haunted Houses-Turned-Vacation Rentals?," 26 Sep. 2019 Elephants appear unmistakably to mourn their dead—even caressing their bones. Melissa Chan, Time, "Pets Are Part of Our Families. Now They’re Part of Our Divorces, Too," 22 Jan. 2020 The video, which mocks the hypersexualized perfume industry, features the 78-year-old's voice echoing behind an electronic beat as two women and a man are seen in close-ups caressing the perfume bottle. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "‘The People’s Perfume’: Pro-Sanders group launches 'sexy’ Bérnié spoof," 29 Jan. 2020 At the nearby Palmetto State Armory booth, two young men caressed AK-47s on display. Elizabeth Macbride, Quartz, "The NRA’s most powerful weapon is not a gun," 7 Jan. 2020 The adults got grimy, two-handed caresses that left few clean faces among the front-row spectators crowded along the route. BostonGlobe.com, "A Chim Chiminey Parade Honors Sweeps and Recalls Past Horrors - The Boston Globe," 29 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wooten’s soundscape - part outer-space float, part classical guitar caress - is even more interesting to pore over than J. Cole’s cascading wordplay. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Alabama producer talks J. Cole hit, work with Whitney, Tarantino, Erykah Badu," 1 July 2020 These days, the sick go to the hospital alone — family isn't allowed inside because of the contagious nature of the virus — and many end up dying alone without so much as a comforting word or caress from those who love them most. Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, "In the coronavirus era, death is difficult. But so is being a mourner," 20 May 2020 The same care is evident onscreen, where every fumbling and tentative caress seems heavy with meaning. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, "How “Normal People” Makes Us Fall in Love," 18 May 2020 In these dark times, an uncluttered surface anticipates the caress of the Clorox wipe. Penelope Green, New York Times, "As Economy Is Upended, Marie Kondo Drops a Workplace Book," 20 Mar. 2020 Victor Dalmau, a young medic caring for the wounded during the Spanish Civil War, restores the beating heart of a young soldier with the caress of his fingers. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Isabel Allende's 'A Long Petal of the Sea' gets to the heart of immigrant struggle," 24 Jan. 2020 When the river is high, the branches of the weeping willow planted in cobblestones at the tip of the square caress the surface of the Seine. Elaine Sciolino, New York Times, "Knowing Paris by Its Bridges," 4 Nov. 2019 President Barack Obama’s conciliatory caresses, we were told, had only emboldened the Iranians. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Trump’s clueless Iran policy lurches the U.S. toward war," 19 June 2019 The feeling brought on, not by tenderness, as from caress, but by the body having no choice but to accommodate pain by dulling it into an impossible, radiating pleasure. Viet Thanh Nguyen, Time, "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caress.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of caress

Verb

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for caress

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

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Time Traveler for caress

Time Traveler

The first known use of caress was in 1598

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Statistics for caress

Cite this Entry

“Caress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caress. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for caress

caress

verb
How to pronounce caress (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of caress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to touch (someone or something) in a gentle way

caress

noun

English Language Learners Definition of caress (Entry 2 of 2)

: a gentle or loving touch

caress

noun
ca·​ress | \ kə-ˈres How to pronounce caress (audio) \

Kids Definition of caress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a tender or loving touch or hug

caress

verb
caressed; caressing

Kids Definition of caress (Entry 2 of 2)

: to touch in a tender or loving way

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Comments on caress

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