verb (used with object), cud·dled, cud·dling.

to hold close in an affectionate manner; hug tenderly; fondle.

verb (used without object), cud·dled, cud·dling.

to lie close and snug; nestle.
to curl up in going to sleep.


act of cuddling; hug; embrace.

Origin of cuddle

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cuddle

Contemporary Examples of cuddle

Historical Examples of cuddle

  • He was not fond of petting, but allowed one or two honored beings to cuddle him.

  • Cuddle up against me, darling, and try and go to sleep then.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for cuddle



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
(intr foll by up) to curl or snuggle up into a comfortable or warm position


a close embrace, esp when prolonged
Derived Formscuddlesome, adjectivecuddly, adjective

Word Origin for cuddle

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

Word Origin and History for cuddle

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