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 caress (audio) \ adverb

Noun

caressive \ kə-​ˈre-​siv How to pronounce caress (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 Romero's supple fingers caress her Holy Bible pages. USA Today, "Rationing insulin. Skipping meals. One woman’s struggle to survive on minimum wage," 6 Apr. 2021 But always there was a longing to hold her, caress a hand, put a great-grandchild on her lap. Mary Lynn Smith, Star Tribune, "'Nothing like a real hug.' Minnesota mom, son reunited after months apart in quarantine," 15 Jan. 2021 On the track, Wanda’s blue-beautiful vocals caress the melodies but never squeeze them. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Next wave Alabama musicians: From jingles to indie-rock," 4 Nov. 2020 Stage presence Henry has a lustrous soprano that can caress a ballad or shift to a supple belt. Elysa Gardner, New York Times, "Meet the Next Generation of Cabaret Showstoppers," 21 Oct. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are the beautiful, little human touches, like the two hands touching with a gentle caress or a wonderful kiss. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Floria Sigismondi on Bringing the Breath Back to Fashion with Gucci’s “Aria” Film," 16 Apr. 2021 Other major championships have felt his caress and withered. Eamon Lynch, Detroit Free Press, "Donald Trump is a scar on the game of golf: Opinion," 10 Jan. 2021 This video captures the remarkable moment when rehabilitator Ellen Kalish gives the owl one final caress before raising her arm to release the bird. Los Angeles Times, "An L.A. Metro sign in the desert? 2020 continues," 3 Dec. 2020 The film wants to sell us Jorge and Chris as romantic heroes, but their pickup lines and declarations of love are more cringe than caress. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Jacob Elordi drama 2 Hearts flatlines despite good intentions: Review," 16 Oct. 2020 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

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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Statistics for caress

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Caress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caress. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for caress

caress

verb

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

Comments on caress

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