cud·​dle | \ ˈkə-dᵊl How to pronounce cuddle (audio) \
cuddled; cuddling\ ˈkəd-​liŋ How to pronounce cuddling (audio) , 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

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Other Words from cuddle


cuddler \ ˈkəd-​lər How to pronounce cuddler (audio) , ˈkə-​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for cuddle

Synonyms: Verb

nestle, nuzzle, snoozle [chiefly dialect], snuggle

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Examples of cuddle in a Sentence


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

His older siblings are stars too, with five-year-old Prince George goofily standing on one leg, and three-year-old Princess Charlotte cuddling up with her dad. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Louis Holding Kate Middleton's Hand in the Royal Christmas Card Is So Pure," 14 Dec. 2018 Grande took to the 'gram over the weekend to post an adorable flood of photos and videos of she and Davidson cuddling with the tiny pig. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "So, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Maybe Got a Micro Pig," 16 Sep. 2018 Underwood shares the fun moments that make parenthood worth it, too, like when Isaiah gets a little too into eating, cuddles up with the family dog, or paints a rather abstract image of her hair. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "What Carrie Underwood Is Really Like as a Mom," 8 Aug. 2018 The adorable picture of Peter and Lara Jean cuddling that appeared in the movie was actually a behind-the-scenes picture of Centineo and Condor napping between takes, it was revealed. Constance Grady, Vox, "Noah Centineo and the rise of the wholesome internet boyfriend, explained," 28 Sep. 2018 On Saturday, September 15, the pop star posted a couple of clips of herself laying down with the pig cuddled up on her neck. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Fans Think Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Adopted a Baby Pig," 16 Sep. 2018 Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson The Shark Tank star and dancing pro were quick to couple up in season 20 in 2015, seen cuddling during the season premiere. Julia Marzovilla, Billboard, "10 Real-Life Couples From 'Dancing With the Stars'," 27 Mar. 2018 No announcement was made, but cuddling up together at typical date-night spots was enough to convince the world the duo’s relationship was the real deal. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's Best Moments of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Summer is cool & all but imagine wearin an old hoodie & sweats, cuddled up on the couch, smellin’ ur pumpkin spice candle, drinkin ur pumpkin spice latte, eatin ur pumpkin spice muffin & watchin football. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Pumpkin Spice Lattes reportedly returning to Starbucks on August 28," 9 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mia is known for stealing the show — getting cuddles and kisses from Zara’s cousin Prince Harry at polo events and happily displaying great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s purse during official photo shoots. Erin Hill,, "The Queen's Granddaughter Zara Tindall Welcomes Second Child After Suffering Miscarriage," 19 June 2018 Judith Newman wrote in The New York Times in February 2017 that the political morass following the 2016 presidential election explained why Americans had latched onto hygge—or cuddle puddles with snacks and good lighting. Laura Norkin, Glamour, "‘Päntsdrunk’ Is the Scandinavian Wellness Trend We Need Right Now," 29 May 2018 When the weather drops below 60 degrees, there are a few ~fall~ rights of passage every self-identifying basic must take part in: Taking an Instagram picture surrounded by autumn leaves. Tweeting about cuddle and/or sweater weather. Lillian Chen, Seventeen, "8 Super Cute Fall Hair Color Trends That Will Make You Crave a PSL," 23 July 2018 Both Luna and Lulu make up to 50 different sounds when kids pet, cuddle, and tickle them. Michelle Manetti, Good Housekeeping, "Why Pomsies Luna and Pomsies Lulu Are the Most Exciting Pom Pom Toys Yet," 14 Nov. 2018 Not only will Indy be providing students with plenty of cuddles and slobbery kisses, but the pup could be an imperative part of keeping students happy and healthy this year. Mckenzie Schwark, Teen Vogue, "Therapy Animals Are on Some College Campuses for Back-to-School Season," 29 Aug. 2018 According to the rules established by cuddle parties and cuddling websites, nothing happens that both people don’t verbally agree to in advance. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "I went to get hugged by a professional cuddler. Here’s how it felt.," 24 Apr. 2018 Adult male gorillas consistently groom and even cuddle with little ones. Alison Gopnik, WSJ, "For Gorillas, Being a Good Dad Is Sexy," 30 Nov. 2018 There’s the unconditional love, the furry cuddles, the companionship. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "How to make your dog Instagram-famous, according to an agent for “pet influencers”," 6 Nov. 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.

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First Known Use of cuddle


1520, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cuddle

Verb and Noun

origin unknown

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Statistics for cuddle

Last Updated

3 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cuddle

The first known use of cuddle was in 1520

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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 How to pronounce cuddle (audio) \
cuddled; cuddling

Kids Definition of cuddle

1 : to hold close for warmth or comfort or in affection
2 : to lie close : nestle, snuggle

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More from Merriam-Webster on cuddle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cuddle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cuddle

Spanish Central: Translation of cuddle

Nglish: Translation of cuddle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cuddle for Arabic Speakers

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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