fondle

verb
fon·​dle | \ ˈfän-dᵊl How to pronounce fondle (audio) \
fondled; fondling\ ˈfän-​(d)liŋ How to pronounce fondling (audio) , -​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of fondle

transitive verb

1 : to handle tenderly, lovingly, or lingeringly : caress She fondled the string of pearls.
2a obsolete : pamper
b : to touch (someone or something) sexually … one of them fondled her neck.— Nadine Gordimer Not long ago, the New York Police Department investigated a dentist accused of fondling his patients after putting them under anesthesia.— Donna McCrohan

intransitive verb

: to show affection or desire by caressing

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fondle

fondler \ ˈfän-​(d)lər How to pronounce fondler (audio) , -​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Synonyms for fondle

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of fondle in a Sentence

She claims that her boss tried to fondle her at the office Christmas party. a cat who enjoys being fondled by his loving owners
Recent Examples on the Web Some shoppers swear by online shopping; others prefer to fondle merch in real-time. Catherine Bigelow, SFChronicle.com, "Recoding retail: Women bring digital savvy to art, pop-ups and fashion," 16 July 2019 The film had the intimate, off-hand look of a home movie: Keith Richards was captured removing a television set from his hotel room and tossing it over the balcony and a groupie was seen lying naked on a bed, fondling herself. Hillel Italie, Twin Cities, "Groundbreaking photographer Robert Frank dies at age 94," 10 Sep. 2019 The women say they were groped, fondled or inappropriately touched by massage therapists during sessions dating between 2014 and 2016. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Massage Envy, including Encinitas site, sued by clients alleging sexual misconduct," 19 July 2019 Marie’s habit of fondling a little glowing green bottle in bed is especially upsetting. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Radioactive': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 6 Sep. 2019 Now another 30 men from 12 sports and a non-athlete have come forward stating that Strauss allegedly fondled them at the student health center. Stephen Means, cleveland.com, "The Pac-12 to consider earlier kickoff times this season: Buckeye Breakfast," 26 July 2019 Perez-Giron fondled the girl and tried to pull her pants down, according to police. Dan Morse, Washington Post, "Two Maryland men indicted in alleged rape of 11-year-old girl," 22 Aug. 2019 The woman, then 21, also said Andrew fondled her breast and made advances on her and Giuffre at a party at Epstein’s New York mansion mansion. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Prince Andrew’s troubles continue; London police rejected ‘full investigation’ of sex allegations," 19 Aug. 2019 Chapman was on the verge of release after four decades behind bars when he was indicted by a Middlesex grand jury last year for allegedly fondling himself in front of prison staff. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Convicted child rapist Wayne Chapman found not guilty of exposing himself to prison staff," 9 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fondle.' 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 fondle

1721, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fondle

frequentative of obsolete fond to fondle

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fondle

Statistics for fondle

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for fondle

The first known use of fondle was in 1721

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fondle

fondle

verb
How to pronounce fondle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fondle

: to touch or handle (something) in a gentle way
: to touch (someone) in a sexual way

fondle

verb
fon·​dle | \ ˈfän-dᵊl How to pronounce fondle (audio) \
fondled; fondling

Kids Definition of fondle

: to touch or handle in a tender or loving manner

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fondle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fondle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fondle

Spanish Central: Translation of fondle

Nglish: Translation of fondle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fondle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fondle

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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