Definition of kiss in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Touch with the lips as a sign of love, sexual desire, reverence, or greeting.

    ‘he kissed her on the lips’
    with object and complement ‘she kissed the children goodnight’
    no object ‘we started kissing’
    • ‘Her heart skipped a beat as it finally hit her that she was kissing the love of her life.’
    • ‘Should I tell him he's the most gorgeous guy alive and I've love to just kiss him?’
    • ‘Josh ran his hand along her brown hair, kissing her lightly on the crown of her head.’
    • ‘The desire to kiss him again is almost overwhelming - but she can't ignore her own beliefs.’
    • ‘She had a very sweet, delicate kiss and when we would kiss it was with love, passion, and lots of good stuff went with it.’
    • ‘I loved you that day you first kissed me.’
    • ‘I assume that in mixed sex greetings the man kisses the woman but you occasionally find women who do the kissing.’
    • ‘Will massaged the backs of her hands with his thumbs and then raised them to his lips and kissed them lightly.’
    • ‘He lightly kisses my forehead and we make our way upstairs.’
    • ‘He never read me stories in bed, never kissed me goodnight, never cuddled me when I cried.’
    • ‘Saudis traditionally kiss the hands of royals as a sign of respect and loyalty when they visit.’
    • ‘They started to kiss, just lightly at first, and then with more passion.’
    • ‘My true love kissed me goodbye, reminding me to put out some breadcrumbs later in the day.’
    • ‘He then added that he put his arm around her waist and they kissed and caressed.’
    • ‘She draped her arms over Zach's and continued to kiss him, loving the soft caress of his lips on hers.’
    • ‘He'd take her into his arms, confess that he was madly in love with her and kiss her passionately.’
    • ‘We sleep in different bedrooms and he never tries to kiss me or touch me.’
    • ‘She closed her eyes once again as the man she loved hugged and kissed her one last time.’
    • ‘She pushes him back to the ground and they kiss passionately in front of the fireplace.’
    • ‘The old woman put a necklace around her grandchild's neck then kissed her forehead.’
    plant a kiss on, brush one's lips against, blow a kiss to, air-kiss
    View synonyms
  • 2Billiards Snooker
    (of a ball) lightly touch (another ball) in passing.

    • ‘On a straight line two balls can kiss a ball in the centre, one on the left and one on the right.’


  • 1A touch with the lips in kissing.

    • ‘She then leaned back and they shared a deep, passionate kiss for a few seconds.’
    • ‘She leaned her head back and he let his kisses linger around her neck.’
    • ‘Lisa tilted her head back as he trailed butterfly kisses down her neck and across her jaw.’
    • ‘Nikolas pulled the sheet over them and brushed a kiss on her forehead.’
    • ‘Annette brushed a kiss on his cheek before she jumped out of the truck.’
    • ‘He returned the loving kiss with as much affection as I had given him.’
    • ‘Many were greeted with a kiss on both cheeks by our waitress - who, we presumed, was probably also proprietress or manageress.’
    • ‘As I lay on the couch that evening, I felt a touch on my forehead and a kiss on my cheek.’
    • ‘Suddenly someone pushed a cookie into my mouth, and then bombarded me with affectionate hugs and kisses.’
    • ‘Closing his eyes he allowed himself to enjoy the one thing he had denied himself far too long - her sweet kisses.’
    • ‘She placed a kiss on his lips as the back of her fingers caressed his cheek.’
    • ‘There they lay for the rest of the afternoon, sharing sweet and tender kisses and talking about their future.’
    • ‘They were both smiling as their lips met in a sweet, deep kiss.’
    • ‘Mia closed her eyes and savored it; it was one of the sweetest kisses of her life.’
    • ‘Even though their shared kiss lasted only a few seconds, everyone saw it.’
    • ‘He slowly smiled, caressing her cheek and then planting a small kiss on her lips.’
    • ‘He never gave us a kiss or showed any affection at all.’
    • ‘They shared a long, passionate kiss at the very end of the movie before the credits began to roll.’
    • ‘Unexpectedly to Sarah, Justin quickly leaned in and placed a soft, gentle kiss on her lips.’
    • ‘I don't suppose you want to give me a farewell kiss do you?’
    1. 1.1 Used to express affection at the end of a letter (conventionally represented by the letter X)
      ‘she sent lots of love and a whole line of kisses’
      • ‘Customers are invited to place a kiss on a giant envelope on display at the centre's customer relations desk and make a donation to the British Heart Foundation.’
      • ‘Let's begin with why do Xs sometimes (esp. at the end of a letter) signify kisses?’
      • ‘Highly emotive, Kahlo was passionate in her prose, sealing the letter illustrated with lipstick kisses.’
      • ‘One woman hands him a handwritten letter covered in kisses and hearts.’
  • 2Billiards Snooker
    A slight touch of a ball against another ball.

    • ‘Davis looked poised to grab another frame from a seemingly lost position only for a double kiss to scupper his comeback in the fifth frame.’
    • ‘Potting the white, or a double kiss, just like this.’
  • 3North American A small cake or cookie, typically a meringue.

    1. 3.1 A small candy, especially one made of chocolate.
      • ‘To all of those who did reviews, I love you all and give everyone a big chocolate Hershey's kiss.’
      • ‘Write a few poems, wrap candy kisses inside, and hide them around the house.’
      • ‘Immediately top each cookie with a Hershey's kiss or star pressing down firmly to crack cookie.’
      • ‘I'm thinking chocolate kisses and coloured sprinkles won't do, as it's her 70th birthday.’
      • ‘While Christmas has candy canes and gingerbread houses, Valentine's Day is for chocolate hearts and chocolate kisses.’
      • ‘She has recently begun an addiction to these new chocolate-mint Hershey kisses.’
      • ‘Whether you've chosen to eat an apple or a single chocolate kiss, concentrate on its shape, color and aroma.’
      • ‘In late August the specially designed packages of miniature chocolate bars, and rockets and kisses start showing up on the shelves along with the requisite bags to put it in.’
      • ‘They were dainty and white, with a pale pink center, sugar kisses, dainty and sweet.’
      • ‘These elegant cookies - each one topped with a chocolate kiss - are sure to delight young and old alike.’
      • ‘My romantic dream gift included chocolate kisses, a card, and some carnations.’


  • kiss and make up

    • Become reconciled.

      • ‘We have our little spats from time to time, but we always kiss and make up before the neighbors start to wonder.’
      • ‘You know sisters argue, and they kiss and make up and that's just how our relationship was.’
      • ‘I think she has it in her head that if she gets us all in the same room we'll crack and kiss and make up.’
      • ‘He was supposed to say sorry and she was supposed to forgive him, then they'd kiss and make up.’
      • ‘We have got to kiss and make up with the staff we have been in dispute with and get the team rebuilt.’
      • ‘The most important thing for Cole is to think independently of his agent before he chooses whether or not to kiss and make up with Arsenal.’
      • ‘Both men, he says, were forced to kiss and make up in front of everybody on the team bus on Friday afternoon.’
      • ‘It was time for the brothers to kiss and make up, and also for Owen to reconcile with Davey.’
      • ‘Along comes a referee intent on making peace but instead of getting both sides to kiss and make up the peacemaker only exacerbates the situation.’
      • ‘Well after couples have a fight, they kiss and make up.’
  • kiss and tell

    • Recount one's sexual exploits, especially to the media concerning a famous person.

      as modifier ‘this isn't a kiss-and-tell book’
      • ‘Don't kiss and tell, even if you're really proud of yourself.’
      • ‘She doesn't kiss and tell and all personal details are carefully monitored.’
      • ‘Anything goes, just bear in mind that the winning entries will be printed here, and a kiss-and-tell article won't even be considered.’
      • ‘No matter how much I prodded her for information, she continued to shake her head and say, ‘It's rude to kiss and tell.’’
      • ‘His warts and all, kiss-and-tell book should be available in shops by the end of the month.’
      • ‘He was forced to resign when the prostitute sold her kiss-and-tell story to the press.’
      • ‘So far, he's not one to kiss and tell much about his encounters.’
      • ‘He said he wasn't the kiss-and-tell type, but he's sure beginning to sound like he might be ready to change his mind.’
      • ‘A small smile plays on my lips as certain memories come to the forefront, but I'm going to keep those to myself because I was never one to kiss and tell.’
      • ‘Generally, I'm not the kind of guy who likes to kiss and tell - but everyone wants to know the story.’
  • kiss ass

    • vulgar slang Behave in an obsequious or sycophantic way.

  • kiss someone's ass

    • vulgar slang Behave obsequiously toward someone.

      be obsequious to, be sycophantic to, be servile to, curry favour with, pay court to, play up to, crawl to, creep to, ingratiate oneself with, dance attendance on, fall over oneself for, kowtow to, toady to, truckle to, bow and scrape before, grovel before, cringe before, abase oneself before
      View synonyms
  • kiss something good-bye (or kiss good-bye to something)

    • informal Accept the certain loss of something.

      ‘I could kiss my career good-bye’
      • ‘A solder has kissed goodbye to his Army career after being jailed for beating his wife.’
      • ‘If the manager's nicknames for his Dodgers are any indication of his talents, you can kiss this season goodbye.’
      • ‘Step out of line and you can kiss your career goodbye.’
      • ‘Leeds, for all their excellent progress in the Champions League, can realistically kiss the league championship goodbye after this defeat.’
      • ‘As far as I can tell, treating your client to a karaoke power-lunch over here could mean kissing your deal goodbye.’
      • ‘Premiers Maclean can kiss goodbye to their twin premiership titles if they incur yet another loss in Saturday's clash with Southern Cross Uni.’
      • ‘In one of his dreams, we see him riding to work on the metro during rush hour and announcing that he is kissing his old life goodbye.’
      • ‘Students planning on returning to the United States for another co-op term must now kiss that opportunity goodbye.’
      • ‘You could kiss the nature reserve goodbye if they build that development.’
      • ‘Looks like the administration has decided on one strategy for jump-starting the economy - kissing the strong dollar goodbye.’
  • kiss of death

    • An action or event that causes certain failure for an enterprise.

      ‘it would be the kiss of death for the company if it could be proved that the food was unsafe’
      • ‘I used to hold up couples I knew as ‘perfect couples,’ until a string of divorces proved it to be the kiss of death.’
      • ‘It is unclear exactly how to go about impressing the sisters, but a failure to do so is a frequently cited kiss of death.’
      • ‘Correspondents were mainly concerned that anything described as rural seems afflicted with the kiss of death where government departments are concerned.’
      • ‘Media coverage of your work is the kiss of death.’
      • ‘In a culture driven by youth, beauty and vitality, illness doesn't have to be terminal to be the kiss of death to a flourishing career, or an Oscar nomination.’
      • ‘It could be the kiss of death for their marriage, which has lasted 31 years or something like that, you know.’
      • ‘This turn of events may be the kiss of death to such reform efforts as were underway.’
      • ‘It's the kiss of death if the president comes to praise your program.’
      • ‘It was France and Russia that gave the existing system the kiss of death by exposing its emptiness and fundamental immorality.’
      • ‘Well, personally I would have thought that Arts Council support was the kiss of death for anything, but once again that's just me.’
  • kiss of life

    • 1Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

      • ‘After listening to her chest, he began to give her the kiss of life and attempted CPR using two of his fingers.’
      • ‘The GP later told her he had given her the kiss of life after she had turned blue following a life-threatening reaction to the painkilling drug.’
      • ‘If they're unconscious ring 999 or, if you can, give the kiss of life.’
      • ‘Mr Young, a trained first aider, felt a faint pulse and gave his wife the kiss of life after calling for an ambulance.’
      • ‘By the time I got there a gentleman was giving her the kiss of life trying to bring her round.’
      • ‘I hit Tom's chest to start his heart and gave him the kiss of life until he took a breath.’
      • ‘Beaux suddenly shouted, ‘Lemme give her the kiss of life!’’
      • ‘Scaring the killer off, he desperately attempts the kiss of life on the hopeless victim until relieved by police.’
      • ‘The hero ended up in hospital when he gave the six-month-old the kiss of life after carrying her out of a blazing block of flats.’
      • ‘He was given the kiss of life and an ambulance was called.’
      1. 1.1An action or event that revives a failing enterprise.
        ‘good ratings gave the program the kiss of life’
        • ‘An ancient pathway which had fallen into disrepair over more than 100 years has been given a £20,000 kiss of life.’
        • ‘There is potential in the bar, it just needs to be given the kiss of life by someone.’
        • ‘In the past few years however the kiss of life has been given to the League of Ireland and now three years into the 21st Century, it is flourishing.’
        • ‘‘The garden was waiting 50 years to be given the kiss of life,’ garden project director, Ian August says.’
        • ‘It wants to give the kiss of life to seven areas in and around the town centre which would improve the cultural, residential, retail, business and leisure aspects of New Town.’
        • ‘Three years ago, they bought a battered complex of medieval, Tudor, Jacobean and Georgian buildings, and gave it the kiss of life.’
        • ‘Baxter's success has already given the sleepy skiing resort the kiss of life and has ignited plans for a proposed Aviemore centre.’
        • ‘Another kiss of life is required to take them into a new era and in this relay race, the sporting world dare not drop the baton.’
        • ‘The length and breadth of the county, he has taken crumbling old shelters and given them the kiss of life.’
        • ‘That goal gave the match the kiss of life it needed, but it would have taken more than a bit of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive Dunfermline's hopes.’
  • kiss of peace

    • A ceremonial kiss given or exchanged as a sign of unity, especially during the Christian Eucharist.

      • ‘The Pope then beckoned and kissed them all, before then inviting the congregation to exchange the kiss of peace with their neighbours.’
      • ‘For all its traditional trappings, the kiss of peace always seemed more like an experimental hippie-inspired add-on to the Mass, up there with guitars and liturgical ‘dance’.’
      • ‘In the choir, he received the monks one by one and gave each the kiss of peace.’
      • ‘If judges and similar high officials have to stay apart, neither should the ordained join the people, either when preaching to them or to exchange the kiss of peace.’
      • ‘Before the kiss of peace, Mendenhall encouraged the gathered to ‘hug the work of art that is sitting next to you.’’
      • ‘In addition the Orthodox Liturgy links the kiss of peace with the profession of faith, the Creed.’
      • ‘The bestowal of peace upon the disciples may also echo a feature of the liturgy, the greeting or kiss of peace - a feature of the liturgy from the earliest times.’
      • ‘The East appears to have given up the general kiss of peace still earlier.’
      • ‘In the primitive church at Rome and in the Eastern Church, the kiss of peace was offered after the first part of the Mass and before the Eucharistic Prayer.’
      • ‘The Christians in attendance offered those in their particular order a kiss of peace with the words ‘Christ is in our midst.’’
  • kiss the rod

    • Accept punishment submissively.

      • ‘Better on this occasion to kiss the rod than try to dodge the issue.’
      • ‘Thus rebuffed, he kissed the rod to the extent of asking the Committee what sort of proposal it would endorse.’
      • ‘It is a source of satisfaction that she has not shut her eyes to the prime cause of these dispensations - that she has seen and kissed the rod in the hands of the Almighty.’
      • ‘I have reason to speak much of His goodness, and to kiss the rod, for it was sweetened with abundant mercies.’
      • ‘You will thank me and kiss the rod.’
      • ‘But he soon perceived that, if the people were oppressed, they kissed the rod of the oppressor, as they gave no signs of rising.’
      • ‘If you are unable to believe in this exclusive, tyrannous god, to bend the knee and kiss the rod - you'll burn in hell for all eternity.’
      • ‘If you have - go - retire into silent obscurity, and kiss the rod that scourges you.’
      • ‘So now I hope you are properly scolded, and having kissed the rod, like a good disciple, are taking seriously to your task.’
      • ‘Though physically robust, he never rebelled against his superiors, and kissed the rod of contempt with the exemplary meekness of a Christian.’
  • kiss something to make it better

    • informal Comfort a sick or injured person, especially a child, by kissing the sore or injured part of their body as a gesture of removing pain.

      • ‘Do you recall the soothing touch of your mother, brushing away your tears and kissing it better?’
      • ‘He tried to fix my toe and kissed it better.’
      • ‘Rob and I thought we were going to grow old together and even now, when the children fall down, I can hear him offering to kiss them better.’
      • ‘He is looking all of 11 years old now and I almost want to sit him on my knee and kiss his finger better.’
      • ‘Remember when we were kids, that scrape, when Mummy / Daddy rubbed it and kissed it better, the pain went away and all was well.’
      • ‘When they trip over their own feet, get tangled in a skipping rope or fall off their bike, their parents kiss it better and utter the well-worn phrase ‘You'll live’.’
      • ‘In the Forman kitchen, Fez sits on the counter while Kitty puts a band-aid on his knee, then kisses it better.’
      • ‘I'd kiss his graze better… and it always worked.’
      • ‘In the end, having been saved, the child bandages dad's cuts and kisses them better.’
      • ‘I picked up her hand, guessed at what might have been the injured finger, and kissed it better.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • kiss someone/something off

    • Dismiss someone rudely; end a relationship abruptly.

      • ‘After one suspect kissed her off, she confessed to the Bay Street insider, ‘I have to tell you I hate Frank.’’
      • ‘Yet we may have brushed them aside, kissed them off, given them short shrift.’
      • ‘I never voted for the Greens and the Democrats have successfully kissed me off for a long, long time.’
      • ‘They want all the assets, all the power, and they want us to just kiss it off and just say okay, you're free.’
      • ‘Sure, I might have kissed the series off earlier this year, but The Simpsons still remains my most favorite tv series ever.’
      • ‘And when he kisses Brigid off, you suspect he's had her number all along.’
      • ‘His newspaper indicates his desperation to kiss the story off.’
      • ‘Why did The Washington Post kiss it off in one nasty paragraph?’
      • ‘Should your stencil sheet be too thin, lumpy or uneven it is a good idea to kiss it off as soon as you notice.’
      • ‘After the game, the referees were kissed off by Heinsohn, who must still be enraged by the one call that went against him in his 690 games as Celtics coach.’
  • kiss up to

    • Behave sycophantically or obsequiously toward (someone) in order to obtain something.

      • ‘He's being kissed up to in public, but the knives are out for him.’
      • ‘Now, I'm forced to take orders from a woman who kisses up to the most spineless person I meet!’
      • ‘Often times, the ‘priests’ would not even belong to a religion, but would be scientists or philosophers kissing up to the current elite.’
      • ‘Trying to kiss up to her boss, Ellen instead puts her foot in her mouth and ends up in a Mexican prison.’
      • ‘He seemingly scheduled every day around publicly kissing up to the people who hate him most.’
      • ‘This is the little teacher's pet who kisses up to Mr. Maddox.’
      • ‘OK, now that I'm done kissing up to my new boss, let's move on to the reason you're reading this column - literary news and events.’
      • ‘Even if these gals were your only friends, you can't spend your days kissing up to them.’
      • ‘He began to prance around his classroom, joking with his cronies, flirting with the girls and kissing up to the teacher.’
      be obsequious to, be sycophantic to, be servile to, curry favour with, pay court to, play up to, crawl to, creep to, ingratiate oneself with, dance attendance on, fall over oneself for, kowtow to, toady to, truckle to, bow and scrape before, grovel before, cringe before, abase oneself before
      View synonyms


Old English cyssan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kussen and German küssen.