• synonyms


[nuhz-uh l]
See more synonyms for nuzzle on Thesaurus.com
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.
  3. to lie very close to someone or something; cuddle or snuggle up.
Show More
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.
  3. to thrust the nose, muzzle, snout, etc., against or into: The horse was nuzzling my pocket for sugar.
  4. to thrust (the nose or head), as into something.
  5. to lie very close to; cuddle or snuggle up to.
Show More
  1. an affectionate embrace or cuddle.
Show More

Origin of nuzzle

1375–1425; late Middle English noselen to grovel; origin uncertain
Related formsun·nuz·zled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nuzzled

caress, fondle, nudge, pet, bundle, nestle, burrow, snuggle, snug

Examples from the Web for nuzzled

Historical Examples of nuzzled

  • I said good-bye to him and he nuzzled for the last time at my side pocket.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 8, 1916


  • She nuzzled him as a pet horse might do, but made not the slightest effort to bite.

  • He nuzzled her cheek like an old horse out at pasture, and “Old honey!”

    The Innocents

    Sinclair Lewis

  • And he nuzzled up to his master, in a way that made his tears come.

    Cradock Nowell, Vol. 1 (of 3)

    Richard Doddridge Blackmore

  • He grinned and nuzzled her affectionately, and decided to stay a while longer.

    Fair and Warmer

    E. G. von Wald

British Dictionary definitions for nuzzled


  1. to push or rub gently against the nose or snout
  2. (intr) to nestle; lie close
  3. (tr) to dig out with the snout
Show More

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 nuzzled



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper