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[kis] /kɪs/
verb (used with object)
to touch or press with the lips slightly pursed, and then often to part them and to emit a smacking sound, in an expression of affection, love, greeting, reverence, etc.:
He kissed his son on the cheek.
to join lips with in this way:
She kissed him and left.
to touch gently or lightly:
The breeze kissed her face.
to put, bring, take, etc., by, or as if by, kissing:
She kissed the baby's tears away.
Billiards, Pool. (of a ball) to make slight contact with or brush (another ball).
verb (used without object)
to join lips in respect, affection, love, passion, etc.:
They kissed passionately.
to express a thought, feeling, etc., by a contact of the lips:
They kissed goodbye at the station.
to purse and then part the lips, emitting a smacking sound, as in kissing someone.
Billiards, Pool. (of a ball) to carom gently off or touch another ball.
an act or instance of kissing.
a slight touch or contact.
Billiards, Pool. the slight touch of one ball by another.
a baked confection of egg whites and confectioners' sugar, served as a cookie.
a piece of toffeelike confectionery, sometimes containing nuts, coconut, or the like.
a small, sometimes conical, bite-size piece of chocolate, usually individually wrapped.
Verb phrases
kiss off, Slang.
  1. to reject, dismiss, or ignore:
    He kissed off their objections with a wave of his hand.
  2. (used to express contemptuous rejection or dismissal).
  3. to give up, renounce, or dispense with:
    Leaving Tulsa meant kissing off a promising job.
blow / throw a kiss, to indicate an intended kiss from a distance, usually in bidding farewell, by kissing one's own fingertips and moving the hand toward the person greeted.
kiss ass, Slang: Vulgar. to be obsequious; fawn.
Origin of kiss
before 900; Middle English kissen to kiss, Old English cyssan (cognate with German küssen, Old Norse kyssa), derivative of Old English coss a kiss; cognate with Old Norse koss, German Küss
Related forms
outkiss, verb (used with object)
unkissed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for kissing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "So I've come back," said Georgiana, stooping down and kissing her mother.

    The Way We Live Now Anthony Trollope
  • "You will have me to take it off your shoulders," he replied, kissing her.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • Darling arms, all soft, all rosy, that Love himself made all on purpose for kissing!

    The Legend of Ulenspiegel Charles de Coster
  • In Europe, in the Middle Ages, the custom of kissing was very extended.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • Finally she worked her way back up his body licking her lips and kissing as she went.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for kissing


(transitive) to touch with the lips or press the lips against as an expression of love, greeting, respect, etc
(intransitive) to join lips with another person in an act of love or desire
to touch (each other) lightly: their hands kissed
(billiards) (of balls) to touch (each other) lightly while moving
the act of kissing; a caress with the lips related adjective oscular
a light touch
a small light sweet or cake, such as one made chiefly of egg white and sugar: coffee kisses
See also kiss off
Derived Forms
kissable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English cyssan, from coss; compare Old High German kussen, Old Norse kyssa


keep it simple, stupid
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 kissing



Old English cyssan "to kiss," from Proto-Germanic *kussijanan (cf. Old Saxon kussian, Old Norse kyssa, Old Frisian kessa, Middle Dutch cussen, Dutch, Old High German kussen, German küssen, Norwegian and Danish kysse, Swedish kyssa), from *kuss-, probably ultimately imitative of the sound. Related: Kissed; kissing. For vowel evolution, see bury. There appears to be no common Indo-European root word for "kiss," though suggestions of a common ku- sound may be found in the Germanic root and Greek kynein "to kiss," Hittite kuwash-anzi "they kiss," Sanskrit cumbati "he kisses."

Kissing, as an expression of affection or love, is unknown among many races, and in the history of mankind seems to be a late substitute for the more primitive rubbing of noses, sniffing, and licking. [Buck, p.1113]
Some languages make a distinction between the kiss of affection and that of erotic love (cf. Latin saviari "erotic kiss," vs. osculum, literally "little mouth"). French embrasser "kiss," but literally "embrace," came about in 17c. when the older word baiser (from Latin basiare) acquired an obscene connotation. Insulting invitation kiss my ass is at least from 1705, but probably much older (cf. "The Miller's Tale").


Old English coss; see kiss (v.). It became Middle English cuss, but this yielded to kiss, from the verb. Kiss of death in figurative sense "thing that signifies impending failure" is from 1944 (Billboard, Oct. 21), ultimately in reference to Judas's kiss in Gethsemane (Matt. xxvi:48-50). The kiss of peace was, in Old English, sibbecoss (for first element, see sibling).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for kissing


Related Terms




kiss-off (1950s+)

Related Terms

butterfly kiss, french kiss, soul kiss



Keep it simple, stupid, or keep it simple and stupid (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for kissing


Keep it simple, stupid!
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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kissing in the Bible

of affection (Gen. 27:26, 27; 29:13; Luke 7:38, 45); reconciliation (Gen. 33:4; 2 Sam. 14:33); leave-taking (Gen. 31:28,55; Ruth 1:14; 2 Sam. 19:39); homage (Ps. 2:12; 1 Sam. 10:1); spoken of as between parents and children (Gen. 27:26; 31:28, 55; 48:10; 50:1; Ex. 18:7; Ruth 1:9, 14); between male relatives (Gen. 29:13; 33:4; 45:15). It accompanied social worship as a symbol of brotherly love (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; 1 Pet. 5:14). The worship of idols was by kissing the image or the hand toward the image (1 Kings 19:18; Hos. 13:2).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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