- an act or gesture expressing affection, as an embrace or kiss, especially a light stroking or touching.
- to touch or pat gently to show affection.
- to touch, stroke, etc., lightly, as if in affection: The breeze caressed the trees.
- to treat with favor, kindness, etc.
Origin of caress
Synonyms for caressSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for caressesfondle, nuzzle, pat, rub, clutch, graze, cuddle, kiss, massage, hug, pet, feel, stroke, embrace, endearment, squeeze, snuggle, petting, fondling, toy
Examples from the Web for caresses
Contemporary Examples of caresses
For a majority of the music video, Gaga rocks a leather-glove bandeau that at points moves and caresses her breasts.Deconstructing Lady Gaga's 5 Bras in "Applause"
August 19, 2013
He described opium as “an old and terrible lover and, like all lovers, overflowing with caresses—and betrayals.”Baudelaire’s Femme Fatale Muse
May 7, 2013
The three live above a blind poet (Richard E. Grant), who cries as he caresses the books he could once see.Madonna's New Movie Salutes...Madonna!
October 17, 2008
Historical Examples of caresses
Fido knew that, for there were caresses in every stroke of the dimpled hands.A Little Book of Profitable Tales
She aggravated him with all manner of caresses and endearments.The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
In spite of this she was fond of caresses, devoted to her husband, and had several children.The Sexual Question
Valentine took hold of them, sat them on her lap, and half stifled them with caresses.Fruitfulness
They struggled in this manner with a rattling in their throats, writhing in the horror of their caresses.Therese Raquin
- a gentle touch or embrace, esp one given to show affection
- (tr) to touch or stroke gently with affection or as with affectionthe wind caressed her face
Word Origin for caress
1650s, from French caresser, from Italian carezzare "to cherish," from carezza "endearment" (see caress (n.)). Related: Caressed; caressing.
1640s, "show of endearment, display of regard," from French caresse (16c.), back-formation from caresser or else from Italian carezza "endearment," from caro "dear," from Latin carus "dear, costly, beloved" (see whore (n.)). Meaning "affectionate stroke" attested in English from 1650s.