- to handle or touch lovingly, affectionately, or tenderly; caress: to fondle a precious object; to fondle a child.
- Obsolete. to treat with fond indulgence.
- to show fondness, as by manner, words, or caresses.
Origin of fondle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. cuddle, snuggle, pet, pat, stroke.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (tr) to touch or stroke tenderly; caress
- (intr) archaic to act in a loving manner
C17: from (obsolete) vb fond to fondle; see fond 1
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
Word Origin and History for fondle
1690s, "treat with indulgence and affection," frequentative of fond "dote upon" (see fond). Sense of "caress" first recorded 1796. Related: Fondled; fondling (1670s as a past participle adjective).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper