verb (used with object), cuddled, cuddling.
to hold close in an affectionate manner; hug tenderly; fondle.
verb (used without object), cuddled, cuddling.
to lie close and snug; nestle.
to curl up in going to sleep.
act of cuddling; hug; embrace.

1510–20; perhaps back formation from Middle English cudliche intimate, affectionate, Old English cūthlīc, or from Middle English cuthlechen, Old English cūthlǣcan to make friends with; see couth2, -ly Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cuddle (ˈkʌdəl)
vb (foll by up)
1.  to hold (another person or thing) close or (of two people, etc) to hold each other close, as for affection, comfort, or warmth; embrace; hug
2.  to curl or snuggle up into a comfortable or warm position
3.  a close embrace, esp when prolonged
[C18: of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1520, probably a variant of obs. cull, coll "to embrace" (see collar), or perhaps M.E. *couthelen, from couth "known," hence "comfortable with." The word has a spotty early history, and it seems to have been a nursery word at first. Related: Cuddly (1863).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But you can hold them and cuddle them while they're getting the vaccine, and then you can hold them tightly afterwards.
Whatever its origins, the grille-mounted cuddle object is found across the
He enjoys a good cuddle with the oil execs and also with the health care execs.
Most humans-and animals-don't cuddle up with corpses.
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