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caress

[kuh-res] /kəˈrɛs/
noun
1.
an act or gesture expressing affection, as an embrace or kiss, especially a light stroking or touching.
verb (used with object)
2.
to touch or pat gently to show affection.
3.
to touch, stroke, etc., lightly, as if in affection:
The breeze caressed the trees.
4.
to treat with favor, kindness, etc.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; < French caresse < Italian carezza < Vulgar Latin *caritia, equivalent to Latin cār(us) dear + -itia suffix of abstract nouns; cf. charity
Related forms
caressable, adjective
caresser, noun
caressingly, adverb
uncaressed, adjective
uncaressing, adjective
uncaressingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. pat, fondling, hug.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for caress
  • Touch screens respond to the ceaseless caress of our fingers.
  • Snails caress each other with their antennae, birds touch beaks, and many mammals lick each other's snouts.
  • They stroke the keys in the piano room and they caress violins in the auditorium.
  • Wielding a single hair on a brush, a researcher tests the effects of a caress on skin.
  • Some forms of springtails caress each other with their antennae before mating.
  • Remote haptic interaction could allow people who are allergic to dogs and cats to caress their pets remotely.
  • Sweet is a macro photographer whose close-up pictures practically caress the petals of the flowers that are his primary subject.
  • Waves caress the giant chunks of marble, slowly reducing them to the smooth white pebbles beneath my feet.
  • They would stroke his shoulders and knees, and he would caress their legs.
  • By the caress that was in his fingers he expressed himself.
British Dictionary definitions for caress

caress

/kəˈrɛs/
noun
1.
a gentle touch or embrace, esp one given to show affection
verb
2.
(transitive) to touch or stroke gently with affection or as with affection: the wind caressed her face
Derived Forms
caresser, noun
caressingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French caresse, from Italian carezza, from Latin cārus dear
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
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Word Origin and History for caress
n.

1640s, "show of endearment, display of regard," from French caresse (16c.), back-formation from caresser or else from Italian carezza "endearment," from caro "dear," from Latin carus "dear, costly, beloved" (see whore (n.)). Meaning "affectionate stroke" attested in English from 1650s.

v.

1650s, from French caresser, from Italian carezzare "to cherish," from carezza "endearment" (see caress (n.)). Related: Caressed; caressing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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