from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A gentle touch or gesture of fondness, tenderness, or love.
- transitive v. To touch or stroke in an affectionate or loving manner.
- transitive v. To touch or move as if with a caress: soft music that caressed the ears.
- transitive v. To treat fondly, kindly, or favorably; cherish.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An act or expression of affection; Endearment.
- n. A gentle stroking or rubbing.
- v. To touch or kiss lovingly; to fondle.
- v. To show and act on deep closeness shared with another person.
- v. To affect as if with a caress.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An act of endearment; any act or expression of affection; an embracing, or touching, with tenderness.
- transitive v. To treat with tokens of fondness, affection, or kindness; to touch or speak to in a loving or endearing manner; to fondle.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An act of endearment; an expression of affection by touch, as by stroking or patting with the hand: as, “conjugal caresses,”
- To bestow caresses upon; fondle.
- Hence— To treat with fondness, affection, or kindness.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a gentle affectionate stroking (or something resembling it)
- v. touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
Indeed, the touching touch of the caress is touching (without touching) on the untouchable as inviolable, and the one stroking is always masculine and the stroked one (the untouchable) feminine
A caress might be a grope if it comes from an unwanted hand.
Roused Death: Death rose and smiled, and met her vain caress. xxvi
In the one case, such a caress is a bit of heaven to a husband, in the other it is a bit of hell!
She went back, and with her hand upon his shoulder, leaned against him; and he put his arm around her, and drew her close, very close; and in the caress was the promise she asked.
He lowered the gas, and as we walked out of the library laid his arm on my shoulder in a tender way, that I have never forgotten -- for a caress was a novelty from him.
He unclasped her arms from his neck -- their caress was a torture to him.
A kiss and a laugh and a caress were the answer; and, while she bounded away, she would sing, in the words of the song --
We have to kind of caress each person the right way.
Meanwhile, Maggie's stable companion cranes his beautiful neck over the side of the box, and begs for the caress which is not denied him.