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

fondle, gentle, love, pat, pet, stroke

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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

Guests describe chairs upholstered in leopard print, a twice life-sized sculpture of a naked African warrior, and a framed picture of a woman holding an opium pipe and caressing a lion skin. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "The Secret History of Jeffrey Epstein's New York Townhouse," 10 July 2019 Billie Shaving ads for women have traditionally depicted semi-naked ladies joyously caressing their already hairless legs and underarms with razors. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "A new razor brand is encouraging women not to shave," 24 July 2019 She’s joined by a talent-laden quintet including trumpeter Erik Jekabson, who’s tailored the arrangements to caress her sumptuous voice. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "A wave of great jazz singers is headed for the Bay Area," 17 July 2019 Rodriguez’s incongruous yet poetic painting is an archival record of cruelty and strife, rendered with a soft, delicate, caressing touch. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Review: In ‘COLA 2019,’ the city of L.A. gives its artists a place to sound off," 18 June 2019 For a few seconds, Stanton gently caresses both her real left hand and the rubber one. Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, Discover Magazine, "These Researchers Think We Can Retrain Our Brains to Tame Chronic Pain," 30 May 2019 Pose in the mirror, caress your silhouette, know your naked angles. Nona Willis Aronowitz, Teen Vogue, "When Is It Safe to Send a Partner Nude Photos?," 2 May 2019 Gently handled by keeper Benjamin Fan, Wally even permits a visitor to caress her supple, squamate skin. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Roos, geese, and a blue-tongued lizard: Behind the scenes at San Diego Zoo Safari Park," 8 June 2019 Her natural beauty is not so much upstaged as complemented by the gorgeousness of St.-Tropez itself, which lolls across the hills behind her, caressed by impossibly blue water and gentle wind. New York Times, "Beautiful People in European Villas: a Film Genre of Its Own," 15 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 As an earth sign, Taurus loves to indulge its five sense through luxurious fabrics, enchanting aromas, and gentle caresses. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What the Position of Venus in Your Birth Chart Means for You," 31 July 2018 The range of expression in his keyboard touch encompassed caresses, rumbles and crashes. Ben Ratliff, New York Times, "Cecil Taylor, Pianist Who Defied Jazz Orthodoxy, Is Dead at 89," 6 Apr. 2018 His two dancers, who hold hands and caress, perform opposite Ryan and a female pianist, whose romance is implied through the camera angles. Dan Allen /, NBC News, "Song, dance and LGBTQ visibility reign supreme at Eurovision Song Contest," 11 May 2018 The choreographer bestowed a healing power to each simple human touch and caress, and dancers folded protectively into their partners. Laura Bleiberg, latimes.com, "Dance Theatre of Harlem comes full circle with stirring Broad Stage program," 22 Apr. 2018 Any type of massage in this area is going to require a light caress as to not cause pain. Redbook, "33 Sexy Places to Touch Your Guy," 30 Oct. 2017 The range of expression in his keyboard touch encompassed caresses, rumbles, and crashes. Ben Ratliff, BostonGlobe.com, "Cecil Taylor, 89, pianist who moved beyond jazz idiom," 7 Apr. 2018

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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Learn More about caress

Dictionary Entries near caress

Carentan

care of

care package

caress

caret

caretaker

Caretta

Statistics for caress

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for caress

The first known use of caress was in 1598

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on caress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with caress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for caress

Spanish Central: Translation of caress

Nglish: Translation of caress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of caress for Arabic Speakers

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