- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for caress on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for caressing
Christine is very flirtatious, giggling, caressing, and locking eyes with her ambitious underling.Rachel McAdams Returns to ‘Mean Girls’ Roots With Kinky Bisexual Role in ‘Passion’
October 13, 2012
The girl started, and tried to fling off the caressing hand.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
She beamed at my appearance, and her every word was caressing and deferential.The Bacillus of Beauty
It seemed so soft, so caressing, so far away, and yet so near.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
She might have counted a dozen, when she bent and put her lips to the caressing hand.Little Dorrit
The hand lifted and descended again in a patting, caressing movement.White Fang
- 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 and History for caressing
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.