nuz·​zle | \ ˈnə-zəl How to pronounce nuzzle (audio) \
nuzzled; nuzzling\ ˈnəz-​liŋ How to pronounce nuzzling (audio) , ˈnə-​zə-​ \

Definition of nuzzle

intransitive verb

1 : to work with or as if with the nose especially : to root, rub, or snuff something
2 : to lie close or snug

transitive verb

1 : to root, rub, or touch with or as if with the nose
2 : to rub or push gently against something nuzzled her face against the cushion

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Synonyms for nuzzle


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Examples of nuzzle in a Sentence

The dog nuzzled my leg. He nuzzled into her neck.
Recent Examples on the Web Then the cow will often try to nuzzle or lick or otherwise check out the new item. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Orwell’s nightmare? Facial recognition for animals promises a farmyard revolution," 24 Aug. 2020 Caesar, who can often be seen nuzzling McCool’s white beard, seemed thrown off, too, by his cloth mask. oregonlive, "Therapy llama visits outside of nursing home, drops in on Zoom meetings, amid coronavirus," 2 May 2020 When volunteers walked by their cages, the animals nuzzled next to their wire cages behind a bar fence to get closer. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "Embattled Wildlife in Need continues to operate business as usual despite legal challenges," 22 Feb. 2020 The unnamed calf was born at Potter Park Zoo on Tuesday before 6 a.m. The 12-year-old mother, Doppsee, nuzzled her baby within minutes and the calf was standing up about 90 minutes later, according to the zoo. USA TODAY, "Rare black rhino born, dengue fever, ‘Santa Lady,’ disputed Lincoln hat: News from around our 50 states," 26 Dec. 2019 Brown stew chicken, on the other hand, embraces a mild sweetness — soft, fall-apart thighs and legs that nuzzle up to rice and peas and a pile of sauteed cabbage. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "3 new metro Phoenix restaurants to try in March for hot pot, Jamaican food and barbecue," 9 Mar. 2020 Stark handed a monkey to a girl standing nearby, and the primate nuzzled into her jacket and wrapped its long tail around her thigh. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "Embattled Wildlife in Need continues to operate business as usual despite legal challenges," 22 Feb. 2020 As a result, Hayward carries her shoulders in an inverted boomerang arch, for instance, and nuzzles the hapless but irresistible magician Laurie Davidson (Mr. Mistoffeles) cheek to furry cheek. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Extraordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things: Behind the Scenes of Cats," 19 Dec. 2019 In the doctored video, a cartoon version of Mr. Biden appears to be nuzzling the back of his head. New York Times, "Violent Video Was Product of Right-Wing Provocateurs and Trump Allies," 14 Oct. 2019

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

1530, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for nuzzle

Middle English noselen to bring the nose toward the ground, from nose

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Time Traveler for nuzzle

Time Traveler

The first known use of nuzzle was in 1530

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Cite this Entry

“Nuzzle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce nuzzle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nuzzle

: to gently push or rub your nose or face against (someone or something) to show affection


nuz·​zle | \ ˈnə-zəl How to pronounce nuzzle (audio) \
nuzzled; nuzzling

Kids Definition of nuzzle

: to push or rub with the nose … the mare nuzzled again gently at his neck.— Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising

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