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2017 Word of the Year

cuddle

[kuhd-l] /ˈkʌd l/
verb (used with object), cuddled, cuddling.
1.
to hold close in an affectionate manner; hug tenderly; fondle.
verb (used without object), cuddled, cuddling.
2.
to lie close and snug; nestle.
3.
to curl up in going to sleep.
noun
4.
act of cuddling; hug; embrace.
Origin of cuddle
1510-1520
1510-20; perhaps back formation from Middle English cudliche intimate, affectionate, Old English cūthlīc, or from Middle English cuthlechen, Old English cūthlǣcan to make friends with; see couth2, -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cuddle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was not fond of petting, but allowed one or two honored beings to cuddle him.

    Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Vol. 5 Louisa M. Alcott
  • cuddle up against me, darling, and try and go to sleep then.

    Daybreak

    Florence A. Sitwell
  • I expect they cuddle you and play with you and hold you 'most exactly like mothers.

    The Girl Scouts at Home

    Katherine Keene Galt
  • If you do that again, Allyn, sister won't have any little brother to cuddle.

    Teddy: Her Book Anna Chapin Ray
  • You are the Devil's own son, Ivan; come and let me cuddle you.

    The Day of Wrath Maurus Jkai
  • Then it was a joy to rush back to bed and cuddle closely in the warmth.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • I shouldn't care to hold a young heron in my hand and cuddle it!

  • Had you seen one of them, you could hardly have helped wanting to cuddle him.

    Bird Stories Edith M. Patch
British Dictionary definitions for cuddle

cuddle

/ˈkʌdəl/
verb
1.
to hold (another person or thing) close or (of two people, etc) to hold each other close, as for affection, comfort, or warmth; embrace; hug
2.
(intransitive) foll by up. to curl or snuggle up into a comfortable or warm position
noun
3.
a close embrace, esp when prolonged
Derived Forms
cuddlesome, adjective
cuddly, adjective
Word Origin
C18: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cuddle
v.

early 16c. (implied in cudlyng), perhaps a variant of obsolete cull, coll "to embrace" (see collar (n.)); or perhaps from Middle English *couthelen, from couth "known," hence "comfortable with." It has a spotty early history and seems to have been a nursery word at first. Related: Cuddled; cuddling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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