[nuhz-uh l]

verb (used without object), nuz·zled, nuz·zling.

verb (used with object), nuz·zled, nuz·zling.


an affectionate embrace or cuddle.

Origin of nuzzle

1375–1425; late Middle English noselen to grovel; origin uncertain
Related formsun·nuz·zled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nuzzle

Historical Examples of nuzzle

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

    The Hunted Heroes

    Robert Silverberg

  • They would push and nuzzle a man along a road, and never upset him.


    A. J. Dawson

  • They stirred, making tiny whimpering sounds and trying to move their heads to nuzzle at her fingers.

    Space Prison

    Tom Godwin

  • And when he slept at night something came to nuzzle at his mind; faceless, formless, utterly alien.

  • All of a sudden Don began to tremble with eagerness and nuzzle and sniff among the roots of the grass.

    IT and Other Stories

    Gouverneur Morris

British Dictionary definitions for nuzzle



to push or rub gently against the nose or snout
(intr) to nestle; lie close
(tr) to dig out with the snout

Word Origin for 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

Word Origin and History for nuzzle

early 15c., "to bring the nose to the ground," back-formation from noselyng "on the nose, prostrate," frequentative of nose (v.); meaning "burrow with the nose" is first attested 1520s; that of "lie snug" is from 1590s, influenced by nestle, or by nursle, frequentative of nurse. Related: Nuzzled; nuzzling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper