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 Rexha could be seen mouthing as Cabello and Mendes nuzzled noses and got within kissing distance during their duet. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Joe Jonas, Taylor Swift's Reaction After Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello Didn't Kiss in MTV VMAs Duet," 26 Aug. 2019 Near stables in the back of the property, retired racehorses nuzzle one another, lazily waiting to be saddled up by State Police for patrols. Alison Kuznitz,, "A bumper crop of discord over popular Plymouth farm," 18 July 2019 Photos of Marium nuzzling with her caretakers quickly spread on Thai media. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "A dead baby dugong is a reminder that the US helped cause Thailand’s plastic problem," 20 Aug. 2019 Images of her nuzzling marine biologists, who are now tasked with feeding motherless Marium up to 15 times a day, went viral. Stephanie Bailey, CNN, "Meet the Thai actor who helped make a baby sea cow an internet star," 6 Aug. 2019 Photos of stoic lions and nuzzling baby elephants cover the walls of his booth. Faith E. Pinho,, "Laguna Art-A-Fair welcomes new and familiar faces to opening day Friday," 27 June 2019 Nine-month-old Charlie gurgled happily as my husband, Adam, scooped him up and nuzzled his belly. Washington Post, "There’s a new hierarchy in our family," 16 July 2019 At Triple Take Arena, one of Yates' students brings out another rescue horse named Mo. Mo wears a bridle with little gold plates across his forehead, and nuzzles his grey-speckled flank against anyone who reaches out to stroke him. Charlotte Bausch,, "Montana farm rescues, finds homes for penned wild horses," 10 July 2019 That was a clear choice made here: these birds and cheetahs and giraffes are not high-fiving, making selfie-faces or prancing on two legs (well, most of them) but rather walking, resting and nuzzling as actual animals would. John Wenzel, The Know, "“The Lion King” review: Disney’s CGI remake finds only fleeting beauty," 11 July 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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Statistics for nuzzle

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for nuzzle

The first known use of nuzzle was in 1530

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More Definitions for nuzzle


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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More from Merriam-Webster on nuzzle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for nuzzle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nuzzle

Spanish Central: Translation of nuzzle

Nglish: Translation of nuzzle for Spanish Speakers

Comments on nuzzle

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

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