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, 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

There's also an undeniable market for families looking to cuddle up together every night—or people with lots of dogs, for that matter. Katelyn Lunders, Country Living, "This Massive 12-Foot Wide Bed Is Here to Save Your Marriage," 30 Nov. 2017 Lopez shares a photo on her Instagram of what appears to be the couple cuddled up on the couch wearing kicks and watching the Yankees game. Morgan Evans, Redbook, "Everything We Know About Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez's Whirlwind Romance," 31 May 2017 Milwaukee is about to get its first cat cafe, a place where customers can cuddle with kittens and enjoy a drink. Sarah Hauer, USA TODAY, "Purr-fect! A 'cat cafe' combines wine and felines," 16 May 2018 And then there's Olive, a vivacious 2-year-old who loves to be cuddled and held. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "5 Siblings in Viral Wanted Ad Beg the World: "Adopt Us Together!"," 14 Mar. 2017 Spanish for mother, to the women cuddling, stroking and feeding them. New York Times, "As Migrant Families Are Reunited, Some Children Don’t Recognize Their Mothers," 10 July 2018 The marquee poster features hunky star Aidan Turner, best known for his title role in the TV revival of Poldark, wearing a white singlet all the better to show off his sculpted biceps and cuddling an adorable (living) black pussycat. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Lieutenant of Inishmore': Theater Review," 5 July 2018 To celebrate his new son, John shared a sweet photo of himself cuddling with little Billy. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "John Stamos and His Wife Caitlin McHugh's Love Story Will Make Even the Cynics Swoon," 4 July 2018 Caught in the background were little sister Jenner cuddling with Simmons on a couch. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner and Ben Simmons Were Spotted Cozying Up Together on the 4th of July," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Throughout the video, the rumored couple continues to kiss, cuddle, and laugh a ton before the video ends. Nerisha Penrose, Billboard, "Chris Brown and Agnez Mo Share Cryptic, PDA-Filled Instagram Video: Watch," 20 June 2018 Inside the Rotunda, 450 guests gathered for cocktails and cuddles with adoptable SPCA puppies. Catherine Bigelow, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco SPCA raises the woof (and $1.8 million) at 150th anniversary gala," 23 Apr. 2018 The need for such touch is primal, said Jean Franzblau, founder of the Cuddle Sanctuary, a four-year-old storefront business in Los Angeles that offers one-on-one sessions and has hosted over 300 cuddle events. Author: Tara Bahrampour, Anchorage Daily News, "Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.," 20 Apr. 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

6 Sep 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!