[ os-kyuh-leyt ]
/ ˈɒs kyəˌleɪt /

verb (used without object), os·cu·lat·ed, os·cu·lat·ing.

to come into close contact or union.
Geometry. (of a curve) to touch another curve or another part of the same curve so as to have the same tangent and curvature at the point of contact.

verb (used with object), os·cu·lat·ed, os·cu·lat·ing.

to bring into close contact or union.
Geometry. (of a curve) to touch (another curve or another part of the same curve) in osculation or close contact.
to kiss.

Nearby words

  1. oscitant,
  2. oscitation,
  3. osco-umbrian,
  4. osculant,
  5. oscular,
  6. osculating circle,
  7. osculating plane,
  8. osculation,
  9. osculatory,
  10. osculum

Origin of osculate

1650–60; < Latin ōsculātus (past participle of ōsculārī to kiss), equivalent to ōscul(um) kiss, literally, little mouth (see osculum) + -ātus -ate1

Related formsos·cu·la·to·ry [os-kyuh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈɒs kyə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectiveun·os·cu·lat·ed, adjective

Can be confusedoscillate osculate

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

Examples from the Web for osculate

British Dictionary definitions for osculate


/ (ˈɒskjʊˌleɪt) /


usually jocular to kiss
(intr) (of an organism or group of organisms) to be intermediate between two taxonomic groups
geometry to touch in osculation

Word Origin for osculate

C17: from Latin ōsculārī to kiss; see osculum

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 osculate



"to kiss," 1650s, from Latin osculatus, past participle of osculari "to kiss," from osculum "a kiss; pretty mouth, sweet mouth," literally "little mouth," diminutive of os "mouth" (see oral). Related: Osculated; osculating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper