- 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
Synonyms for fondle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
- (tr) to touch or stroke tenderly; caress
- (intr) archaic to act in a loving manner
Word Origin for fondle
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
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