cud·​dle | \ˈkə-dᵊl \
cuddled; cuddling\ ˈkəd-​liŋ , ˈkə-​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of cuddle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to hold close for warmth or comfort or in affection He cuddled the puppy.

intransitive verb

: to lie close or snug : nestle, snuggle … dewy glens where couples cuddle on blankets …— Bob Sipchen



Definition of cuddle (Entry 2 of 2)

: a close embrace

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cuddle


cuddler \ ˈkəd-​lər , ˈkə-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for cuddle

Synonyms: Verb

nestle, nuzzle, snoozle [chiefly dialect], snuggle

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of cuddle in a Sentence


Let's cuddle by the fire. kittens cuddling in a basket

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Harlow and Sage, who are these two dogs that just cuddle all the time. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "How to make your dog Instagram-famous, according to an agent for “pet influencers”," 6 Nov. 2018 And as Gucci recently announced its decision to go fur-free, the activist angle tracks: portraying farm animals as adorable creatures worth cuddling is an implicit argument against animal cruelty, and for ethical, sustainable meat-eating. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Are Pigs the New It Pet? Ariana Grande and Gucci’s Alessandro Michele Say Yes," 28 Sep. 2018 Neuwirth, in a dress by Co, cuddles her dog, Teddy, as friends—(from left) decorator Sarah Shetter, dressed in Giambattista Valli, Co designer Justin Kern, and actress January Jones in Paper—gather in the living room. Jenni Konner, ELLE Decor, "Jewelry Designer Irene Neuwirth Takes Us Inside Her Eclectic Los Angeles Home," 13 July 2018 The Instagram post came after reports the pair had been cuddling up in St. Barts on New Year's Eve. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Reports: Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are engaged," 8 July 2018 While elaborate acts of wooing are all fine and good, sometimes, the best way to connect with someone is cuddled on the couch., "The Perfect Date Night (Or Netflix & Chill) Movies," 2 July 2018 President Trump alienated most of the U.S.’ allies in favor of cuddling up to reclusive dictators. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "'Wheel Of Fortune Answers' Is the Best Thing on Twitter Right Now," 12 June 2018 Catch the cute canines cuddling up to create letters A to Z, and check out more of these precious pooches on Wegman's blog. Marlisse Cepeda, Woman's Day, "WATCH: Talented Dogs Form All 26 Letters of the Alphabet," 18 Sep. 2014 Mac and Ariana go public with their relationship (August 2016) The couple took their romance public at the 2016 MTV VMA Awards and was seen cuddling with each other at a VMA Awards after party hosted by Republic Records. Nerisha Penrose, Billboard, "A Timeline of Ariana Grande & Mac Miller's Relationship," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some one-on-one cuddlers also host cuddle parties where strangers come together for a communal hug. The Washington Post,, "Some people are paying for cuddles. And it's not what you might think.," 20 Apr. 2018 Some one-on-one cuddlers also host cuddle parties where strangers come together for a communal hug. Author: Tara Bahrampour, Anchorage Daily News, "Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.," 20 Apr. 2018 Elsewhere, Jean Blanc and Becca cuddle under a blanket and bond. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "'The Bachelorette' Season 14 Episode 2 Recap: So Many Good Arie Luyendyk Jr. Burns," 4 June 2018 She and her friends refuse to give their parents any hugs or cuddles until a negotiation can be met. Taylor Seely, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Watch this 'Fancy Nancy' sneak-peek clip before show premieres on Disney Junior Friday, July 13," 12 July 2018 An older dog or one that isn’t in good physical shape or has poor general mobility gets a short hike to a scenic picnic spot and lots of cuddles. Jayme Moye, Outside Online, "How to Take Any Dog on an Adventure," 27 June 2018 Beautiful hikes down winding river-beds, blackberry iced teas next to sprawling mountain views, and a cuddle with every farm animal in sight. Monica Mendal, Vogue, "Inside Harley Viera-Newton’s Dreamy Summer Trip to Blackberry Farm," 10 July 2018 Albeit one that gets no more physical than a desperate cuddle. Steven Knight, New York Times, "Review: A ‘Woman Walks Ahead,’ and Sitting Bull Stands Up," 28 June 2018 In one video, A Home for Louie, a 1-year-old hound that had been implanted with a lung device to study asthma plays fetch and cuddles with his new owner on the couch. The University of Wisconsin (UW) in Madison is taking things further. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "‘A cataclysmic wake-up call’: Can more candor win back support for animal research?," 26 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of cuddle


1520, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cuddle


origin unknown


see cuddle entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cuddle

Dictionary Entries near cuddle








Statistics for cuddle

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cuddle

The first known use of cuddle was in 1520

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cuddle



English Language Learners Definition of cuddle

: to hold (someone or something) in your arms in order to show affection

: to lie or sit close together


cud·​dle | \ˈkə-dᵊl \
cuddled; cuddling

Kids Definition of cuddle

1 : to hold close for warmth or comfort or in affection

2 : to lie close : nestle, snuggle

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cuddle

What made you want to look up cuddle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!