Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From French caresse, from Italian carezza (dear), from Latin cārus (dear), from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂-, akin to Sanskrit काम (kāma, love). Doublet of karezza.


  • IPA(key): /kəˈɹɛs/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛs


caress (plural caresses)

  1. An act of endearment; any act or expression of affection; an embracing, or touching, with tenderness. [from 1640s]
    • (Can we date this quote by Longfellow and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Wooed her with his soft caresses.
    • 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 17, in The History of England from the Accession of James II:
      He exerted himself to win by indulgence and caresses the hearts of all who were under his command.
  2. A gentle stroking or rubbing.



caress (third-person singular simple present caresses, present participle caressing, simple past and past participle caressed)

  1. (transitive) To touch or kiss lovingly; to fondle.
    Synonyms: hold, soothe, stroke, kiss; see also Thesaurus:fondle, Thesaurus:kiss
    She loves being caressed by her boyfriend.
  2. (transitive) To affect as if with a caress.
    • 2012, Mel Berry, Graceful Intentions (page 1)
      The love and anguish in his voice caressed my mind and soul.