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

    • ‘In his dream he had felt her gentle caresses and soft, sweet kisses.’
    • ‘From sitar-like caresses to a sonic storm whirlwind, his unique style has inspired many other performers.’
    • ‘And so, he simply guarded Grace, offering gentle caresses against her cheek or hand as the night slowly turned to morning.’
    • ‘He ran his hand over her hair, in a gentle caress, while he held her.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She ran her hand gently down his cheek, a loving caress as she gazed at him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Don't ever do that again,’ he said quietly, his words gentle caresses against her ear as he bent down to reach her face.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A soft sound, maybe a laugh, then fingers touched the nape of my neck in a gentle caress.’
    • ‘Could this be love radiating from our simple touches, our simple caresses and words.’
    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/