Definition of caress in English:



  • Touch or stroke gently or lovingly.

    ‘she caressed the girl's forehead’
    figurative ‘a gentle breeze caressed his skin’
    ‘his caressing touch’
    • ‘She caressed the ceramic sides lovingly, remembering the weeks she had spent making it.’
    • ‘His tone was joking as he rested his arm around her shoulder and gently caressed her arm.’
    • ‘I swallowed, feeling the fiery blush that had crept to my cheeks, one of which still had his fingers gently caressing the skin.’
    • ‘She slid her left hand behind his neck and gently caressed his cheek with her right hand.’
    • ‘Kat felt Noah's hand rest onto her face as he caressed her cheek gently with his thumb.’
    • ‘It was very quiet as the wind picked up through the trees, caressing our faces ever so gently.’
    • ‘The warmth of the sun caressed Alicia's skin as she briefly turned her face skywards.’
    • ‘As he passed her, he caressed her cheek with the palm of his hand and gently gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek.’
    • ‘I stroked my violin tenderly; caressing the wood like a mother would an infant.’
    • ‘He smiled at me and pulled me to him, stroking my hair and caressing my face.’
    • ‘When he finally reached it he touched its snow white feathers and caressed it gently.’
    • ‘She was dressed in pale pink silk, her gown gently caressing the floor and her head adorned with a dainty, bejewelled crown.’
    • ‘He soundlessly walked over to her bed and kneeled down, gently caressing her cheek.’
    • ‘You feel the breeze coming from the window, gently caressing your face.’
    • ‘He gently took her hand in his and began softly caressing her it with his own.’
    • ‘I would get up early in the morning and sit on the steps, gazing at the sea, the wind roughly caressing my face.’
    • ‘She placed one hand on his cheek, gently caressing it with her warm hand.’
    • ‘Birds were chirping happily as the bright rays of the sun touched and caressed her skin.’
    • ‘The forest closes in, branches caressing windows at every swing and turn.’
    • ‘He kissed her softly and placed a hand gently upon her cheek, caressing it with his thumb.’
    stroke, touch, fondle, brush, skim, pet, pat, nuzzle, kiss
    cuddle, embrace, hug
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  • A gentle or loving touch.

    ‘she felt the caress of his breath on her cheek’
    • ‘She ran her hand gently down his cheek, a loving caress as she gazed at him.’
    • ‘Could this be love radiating from our simple touches, our simple caresses and words.’
    • ‘She turned back to face him, as she felt his hand on her shoulder, his touch as light as the gentle caress of a flower.’
    • ‘In his dream he had felt her gentle caresses and soft, sweet kisses.’
    • ‘He ran his hand over her hair, in a gentle caress, while he held her.’
    • ‘With a caress far more gentle than any silk, he touched her tiny lips with his fingers after he lay her back down in the crib.’
    • ‘For the first time in months I was cold, the gentle caress of the breeze put a smile on my face for the first time in days.’
    • ‘From sitar-like caresses to a sonic storm whirlwind, his unique style has inspired many other performers.’
    • ‘One moment Arto sings samba gentle as a nostalgic caress, the next his guitar is like flint grinding on flint.’
    • ‘A soft sound, maybe a laugh, then fingers touched the nape of my neck in a gentle caress.’
    • ‘The love between Smith and Pocahontas unfolds in rambling, repetitive scenes of the couple in romantic strolls through the woods, exchanging deep, meaningful glances and gentle caresses.’
    • ‘‘Don't ever do that again,’ he said quietly, his words gentle caresses against her ear as he bent down to reach her face.’
    • ‘And so, he simply guarded Grace, offering gentle caresses against her cheek or hand as the night slowly turned to morning.’
    stroke, stroking, touch, touching, fondle, fondling, skim, pat, nuzzle, nuzzling, kiss
    cuddle, embrace, hug
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: from French caresser (verb), caresse (noun), from Italian carezza, based on Latin carus dear.