os·​cu·​late | \ ˈä-skyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce osculate (audio) \
osculated; osculating

Definition of osculate

Osculate and Geometry

Osculate comes from the Latin noun osculum, meaning "kiss" or "little mouth." It was included in a dictionary of "hard" words in 1656, but we have no evidence that anyone actually used it until the 19th century—except for scientists who used it differently to mean "to have contact with." Today, osculate is used in geometry for the action of a pair of curves or surfaces that touch so that they have a common tangent at the point of contact. When osculate is used to mean "kiss," the context is typically humorous.

First Known Use of osculate

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for osculate

Latin osculatus, past participle of osculari, from osculum kiss, from diminutive of os mouth — more at oral

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The first known use of osculate was circa 1656

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Cite this Entry

“Osculate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/osculate. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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