meaning of nuzzle


To nuzzle is to affectionately rub your nose and face against someone (or something). It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning when your cat lies down on your chest and nuzzles you.

A mother might nuzzle her new baby’s head, and a horse will nuzzle a person’s hand — hoping for an apple or sugar cube. In the fifteenth century, this word instead meant “to bring the nose to the ground,” from the verb nose, “pry or smell with the nose.” The current meaning was influenced by words like nestle and the now-obsolete “nursle,” meaning “to nurse.”

Definitions of nuzzle
  1. verb

    rub noses



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    type of:

    caress, fondle

    touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner

  2. verb

    dig out with the snout

    “the pig
    nuzzled the truffle”
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    type of:

    dig up, excavate, turn up

    find by digging in the ground

  3. verb

    move or arrange oneself in a comfortable and cozy position


    cuddle, draw close, nest, nestle, snuggle

    nestle, snuggle

    position comfortably
    draw close

    pull towards oneself
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    type of:

    cling to, clutch, hold close, hold tight

    hold firmly, usually with one’s hands

Word Family

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