[ nuhz-uhl ]
See synonyms for: nuzzlenuzzled on

verb (used without object),nuz·zled, nuz·zling.
  1. to burrow or root with the nose, snout, etc., as an animal does: a rabbit nuzzling into the snow.

  2. to thrust the nose, muzzle, etc.: The dog nuzzled up to his master.

  1. to lie very close to someone or something; cuddle or snuggle up.

verb (used with object),nuz·zled, nuz·zling.
  1. to root up with the nose, snout, etc.: training pigs to nuzzle truffles from the ground.

  2. to touch or rub with the nose, snout, muzzle, etc.

  1. to thrust the nose, muzzle, snout, etc., against or into: The horse was nuzzling my pocket for sugar.

  2. to thrust (the nose or head), as into something.

  3. to lie very close to; cuddle or snuggle up to.

  1. an affectionate embrace or cuddle.

Origin of nuzzle

1375–1425; late Middle English noselen to grovel; origin uncertain

Other words from nuzzle

  • un·nuz·zled, adjective

Words Nearby nuzzle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nuzzle in a sentence

  • The frightful head whipped back at the end of the long neck, to nuzzle at the seared spot.

  • Taggi came to lick his face, nuzzle him, making a small, bewildered whimpering.

    Storm Over Warlock | Andre Norton
  • She goes miles away by the sea-side and walks into the water, like a Christian, to nuzzle up crabs among the rocks.

  • It would be so nice just to lean back and nuzzle up to her, down in the sand.

    The Hunted Heroes | Robert Silverberg
  • The paper dropped into the ditch and lay still, and the pony began to nuzzle Janice's hand.

    Janice Day | Helen Beecher Long

British Dictionary definitions for nuzzle


/ (ˈnʌzəl) /

  1. to push or rub gently against the nose or snout

  2. (intr) to nestle; lie close

  1. (tr) to dig out with the snout

Origin of nuzzle

C15: nosele, from nose (n)

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