fore·​play | \ ˈfȯr-ˌplā How to pronounce foreplay (audio) \

Definition of foreplay

1 : erotic stimulation preceding sexual intercourse
2 : action or behavior that precedes an event

Examples of foreplay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Jaime didn’t knight Brienne because of a crush, and anyone seeing that interaction as foreplay is completely missing the point. Courtney Shea, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brienne of Tarth Lives—And Gwendoline Christie Has Some Thoughts About that Love Triangle," 6 May 2019 For many women, foreplay is a key part of the quest to have an orgasm. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "9 Tips for How to Have an Orgasm," 27 Mar. 2019 Blood happens sometimes, especially in cases where not enough foreplay took place. Gigi Engle, SELF, "7 Tips for Cleaning Up After Sex Gets Messy," 12 Dec. 2018 An actual tryst requires people to be physically present in the same place, but foreplay can happen anytime, anywhere – and the faithful may have no idea. Kim Komando, Fox News, "8 clever ways that tech can reveal a cheating spouse," 15 Sep. 2018 Done right, foreplay can be just as good as the main event. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "17 Foreplay Tips & Ideas You'll Be Dying to Try," 18 Jan. 2019 One thing that helps is engaging in enough foreplay to get adequately warmed up. Isadora Baum, SELF, "8 Reasons Your Vulva or Vagina Might Get All Swollen," 30 Nov. 2018 Then, make sure there's plenty of foreplay involved. Sarah Jio, Woman's Day, "The Best Sex Positions That Belong in Every Woman's Repertoire," 23 Oct. 2018 According to clinical sexologist and host of 'Sexplantions,' Lindsey Doe, women need about 18 to 20 minutes of foreplay to become fully aroused, more than the average male-bodied person. Gigi Engle, Marie Claire, "Why Can't I Have an Orgasm?," 28 May 2018

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

1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for foreplay

Last Updated

14 May 2019

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The first known use of foreplay was in 1929

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More Definitions for foreplay



English Language Learners Definition of foreplay

: sexual actions (such as kissing and touching) that people do with each other before they have sex


fore·​play | \ -ˌplā How to pronounce foreplay (audio) \

Medical Definition of foreplay

: erotic stimulation preceding sexual intercourse

More from Merriam-Webster on foreplay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foreplay Encyclopedia article about foreplay

Comments on foreplay

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


a strong desire or propensity

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