• synonyms


verb (used without object), os·cu·lat·ed, os·cu·lat·ing.
  1. to come into close contact or union.
  2. 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.
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verb (used with object), os·cu·lat·ed, os·cu·lat·ing.
  1. to bring into close contact or union.
  2. Geometry. (of a curve) to touch (another curve or another part of the same curve) in osculation or close contact.
  3. to kiss.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for osculatory

Historical Examples

  • But up to that time we had kept the osculatory incident a profound secret.

    More Tish

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • But so far the osculatory experiment has proved a dire failure.

    Born Again

    Alfred Lawson

  • At Low Mass it is omitted, or given with what is called an osculatory or Pax.

  • In making a list of the company, we can leave out the widower altogether, because he took no part in the osculatory exercise.

    The Canterbury Puzzles

    Henry Ernest Dudeney

  • The usual circular, hieroglyphic and osculatory invitation appears at the lower left-hand corner.

British Dictionary definitions for osculatory


  1. usually jocular to kiss
  2. (intr) (of an organism or group of organisms) to be intermediate between two taxonomic groups
  3. geometry to touch in osculation
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Word Origin

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 osculatory



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper