[ fon-dl ]
/ ˈfɒn dl /

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

to handle or touch lovingly, affectionately, or tenderly; caress: to fondle a precious object; to fondle a child.
Obsolete. to treat with fond indulgence.

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

to show fondness, as by manner, words, or caresses.

Origin of fondle

1685–95; fond (v.) (derivative of fond1) + -le

Related forms

fon·dler, nounfon·dling·ly, adverbo·ver·fon·dle, verb, o·ver·fon·dled, o·ver·fon·dling.un·fon·dled, adjective

Can be confused

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

Examples from the Web for fondling

British Dictionary definitions for fondling


/ (ˈfɒndəl) /


(tr) to touch or stroke tenderly; caress
(intr) archaic to act in a loving manner

Derived Forms

fondler, nounfondlingly, adverb

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