Definition of osculate in English:



  • 1Mathematics
    (of a curve or surface) touch (another curve or surface) so as to have a common tangent at the point of contact.

    ‘the plots have been drawn using osculating orbital elements’
    • ‘If seven points on a twisted cubic be joined, two and two, by twenty-one lines, then any seven planes that contain these 21 lines will osculate a second cubic curve.’
    • ‘Should the students be asked to sketch the osculating circle to a given curve at a given point, and then notice that as the point of contact changes, the radius of the circle is inversely proportional to the measure of curvature?’
  • 2formal, humorous Kiss.

    • ‘As a child I dreaded extended family occasions because of the endless osculating it entailed.’
    • ‘None of that endless schlepping up and down the country, pressing sweaty palms with the hoi polloi and osculating their kids.’
    plant a kiss on, brush one's lips against, blow a kiss to, air-kiss
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Mid 17th century: from Latin osculat- kissed, from the verb osculari, from osculum little mouth or kiss.