[fawr-pley, fohr-]


sexual stimulation of one's partner, usually as a prelude to sexual intercourse.

Origin of foreplay

First recorded in 1925–30; fore- + play Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for foreplay

kissing, sex, necking, caress, lovemaking, action, petting

Examples from the Web for foreplay

Contemporary Examples of foreplay

British Dictionary definitions for foreplay



mutual sexual stimulation preceding sexual intercourse
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 foreplay

in sexual sense, by 1911, from fore- + play (n.). Earlier as a theatrical term (by 1857).

In fact the poem which Mr. Brooks has translated is but the "prologue to the swelling theme," the fore-play to the actual drama of Faust. ["The Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany," Jan.-May 1857]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

foreplay in Medicine




The sexual stimulation that precedes intercourse.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.