Definition of caress in US English:

caress

verb

[with object]
  • Touch or stroke gently or lovingly.

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

noun

  • A gentle or loving touch.

    • ‘He ran his hand over her hair, in a gentle caress, while he held her.’
    • ‘And so, he simply guarded Grace, offering gentle caresses against her cheek or hand as the night slowly turned to morning.’
    • ‘A soft sound, maybe a laugh, then fingers touched the nape of my neck in a gentle caress.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Could this be love radiating from our simple touches, our simple caresses and words.’
    • ‘In his dream he had felt her gentle caresses and soft, sweet kisses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One moment Arto sings samba gentle as a nostalgic caress, the next his guitar is like flint grinding on flint.’
    • ‘She ran her hand gently down his cheek, a loving caress as she gazed at him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘From sitar-like caresses to a sonic storm whirlwind, his unique style has inspired many other performers.’
    • ‘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.’
    stroke, stroking, touch, touching, fondle, fondling, skim, pat, nuzzle, nuzzling, kiss
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

caress

/kəˈrɛs//kəˈres/