[ fon-dl ]
See synonyms for: fondlefondling on

verb (used with object),fon·dled, fon·dling.
  1. to handle or touch lovingly, affectionately, or tenderly; caress: to fondle a precious object.

  2. to molest sexually by touching or caressing.

  1. Obsolete. to treat with fond indulgence.

verb (used without object),fon·dled, fon·dling.
  1. to show fondness, as by manner, words, or caresses.

Origin of fondle

First recorded in 1685–95; from obsolete verbfond “to play the fool, dote” (derivative of adjective fond ) + -le frequentative verb suffix; see origin at fond1,-le

Other words for fondle

Other words from fondle

  • fon·dler, noun
  • o·ver·fon·dle, verb, o·ver·fon·dled, o·ver·fon·dling.
  • un·fon·dled, adjective

Words that may be confused with fondle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

British Dictionary definitions for fondle


/ (ˈfɒndəl) /

  1. (tr) to touch or stroke tenderly; caress

  2. (intr) archaic to act in a loving manner

Origin of fondle

C17: from (obsolete) vb fond to fondle; see fond 1

Derived forms of fondle

  • fondler, noun
  • fondlingly, adverb

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