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[fon-dl] /ˈfɒn dl/
verb (used with object), fondled, fondling.
to handle or touch lovingly, affectionately, or tenderly; caress:
to fondle a precious object; to fondle a child.
Obsolete. to treat with fond indulgence.
verb (used without object), fondled, fondling.
to show fondness, as by manner, words, or caresses.
Origin of fondle
1685-95; fond (v.) (derivative of fond1) + -le
Related forms
fondler, noun
fondlingly, adverb
overfondle, verb, overfondled, overfondling.
unfondled, adjective
Can be confused
fondling, foundling.
1. cuddle, snuggle, pet, pat, stroke. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fondle
  • Tom got two of them and he let me fondle one while he extolled the virtues of the line.
  • Around him, his bearded companions shake their heads and fondle their feet.
  • Or he may choose to fondle a schoolgirl on a crowded commuter train.
  • She said he began his campaign by asking to fondle her breasts.
  • But the urge to fondle bottles of great old treasures is unsatisfied.
  • In any case, the result was that instead of social delousing humans had to start to fondle each other in more ritualistic manner.
  • Police suspect that sometimes he stayed to fondle her.
  • They fondle and kiss until beholders are fairly nauseated.
  • He often took her to secluded parts of the plant where he would kiss and fondle her.
  • She lifted her shirt, and the accused stared at the breasts and began to lustfully fondle them with both hands.
British Dictionary definitions for fondle


(transitive) to touch or stroke tenderly; caress
(intransitive) (archaic) to act in a loving manner
Derived Forms
fondler, noun
fondlingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from (obsolete) vb fond to fondle; see fond1
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 fondle

1690s, "treat with indulgence and affection," frequentative of fond "dote upon" (see fond). Sense of "caress" first recorded 1796. Related: Fondled; fondling (1670s as a past participle adjective).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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