fore·​play ˈfȯr-ˌplā How to pronounce foreplay (audio)
: erotic stimulation preceding sexual intercourse
: action or behavior that precedes an event

Examples of foreplay in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some examples of foreplay: are dirty talking, masturbation, acting out a fantasy, massages, and body kissing. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 31 July 2023 At Lenny’s hotel, the mere mention of Midge’s show corset helped usher verbal foreplay into physical intimacy, and this garment is referenced in this season 5 scene. Emma Fraser, ELLE, 27 May 2023 This kiss is usually the foreplay to something more. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, 30 Jan. 2023 Talking was the new foreplay. Lindsey Gentile, Los Angeles Times, 24 Feb. 2021 Try ultra-relaxing foreplay. Georgina Kim, Glamour, 2 Mar. 2023 And during most of the four separate appointments that make up Katy Brand’s script, Leo and Nancy are engaged in long bouts of verbal foreplay, sharing intimate secrets and navigating a raft of fears and insecurities (most but not all of them Nancy’s). Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2022 Take more time for foreplay. Elizabeth Bernstein, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 Even Stephen’s meanest barbs at his ex, Diana (Alicia Crowder), can be and often are twisted into a spiky form of foreplay. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foreplay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of foreplay was in 1929

Dictionary Entries Near foreplay

Cite this Entry

“Foreplay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Medical Definition


fore·​play -ˌplā How to pronounce foreplay (audio)
: erotic stimulation preceding sexual intercourse

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