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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 for caresses
  • Years followed as the salty waves gently caresses the abandoned ship, slowing reducing it down to a skeleton of rusted steel.
  • His life was a continual vicissitude of crosses and privations, and of heavenly visits and caresses.
  • Their music caresses and lulls as much as it uplifts, but often uses its seductive sound to call for social change.
  • We've had ongoing caresses and hugs for the last three days and it was fantastic.
  • No fathers smile, no mothers caresses, were her portion.
  • He has not tired of showing his machine to visitors, and caresses the surly old iron with a motherly pride and affection.
  • Jumping up and down, threatening to overcome them with caresses.
  • She too smothered me with caresses and told me how sorry she was for me and for my family.
British Dictionary definitions for caresses

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 caresses

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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