A gentle touch or gesture of fondness, tenderness, or love.
tr.v. ca·ressed, ca·ress·ing, ca·ress·es
1. To touch or stroke in an affectionate or loving manner.
2. To touch or move as if with a caress: soft music that caressed the ears.
[French caresse, from Italian carezza, from caro, dear, from Latin cārus; see kā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: caress, cuddle, fondle, pat1, pet1, stroke2
These verbs mean to touch or handle affectionately: caressed the sleeping baby; cuddled the kitten in her arms; fondling the dog's ears; patted the child's head; petting his pony; gently stroked the patient's hand.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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