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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 of caress
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for caressed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Those who were saluted her with admiring looks and generally treated her as a heroine, which caressed her vanity most pleasantly.

  • He drank; and again as they were near together he caressed her.

  • Much alarmed, Violet caressed her, and tried to soothe her with gentle words, and at last they unlocked her lips.

    Heartsease Charlotte M. Yonge
  • He was blubbering in her arms, hysterically, as she caressed him.

    The Adventurer Cyril M. Kornbluth
  • Her hand, small and childlike, though less round and soft than it had been two years ago, caressed my cheek when I bent over her.

  • Now, suddenly, he caressed it, he resolved to act on its prompting.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
British Dictionary definitions for caressed

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 caressed

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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