Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

Expressing affection physically - thesaurus

Synonyms

mwah

interjection

informal the sound of a kiss or kisses

kiss

verb

to touch someone with your lips because you love them or have sexual feelings for them

hug

verb

to put your arms round someone to show your love or friendship

pat

verb

to touch someone gently several times with a flat hand to show that you care about them or want to make them feel better

caress

verb

to move your hands gently over someone’s face or body in a way that shows you love them

cuddle

verb

if you cuddle someone, you put your arms round them and hold them close to show that you like or love them

hold

verb

to put your arms around someone because you love them or because they are unhappy

embrace

verb

formal to put your arms around someone in order to show love or friendship

hold hands

to put your hand around someone else’s hand

nuzzle

verb

to press your nose or face against something gently

Show me more
Show me less

More synonyms

arm in arm

if two people are arm in arm, they are next to each other, with the left arm of one of them bent around the right arm of the other person

bear hug

noun

an act of putting your arms around someone and holding them tightly, because you are happy to see them or you want to show that you like them a lot

caress

noun

a gentle movement of your hands over someone’s face or body in a way that shows you love them

clap someone on the back/shoulder

to hit someone on their back/shoulder with your hand in a friendly way

clinch

noun

the position of two people who are holding each other tightly

cuddle

noun

an act of cuddling someone

embrace

noun

formal the action of putting your arms around someone to show love or friendship

fall on

to take hold of someone suddenly, either to attack them or to hug them

fold someone in your arms

to put your arms around someone

gather someone into your arms

to put your arms around someone, especially to protect them

hug

noun

the action of putting your arms round someone to show your love or friendship

join hands

to hold someone else’s hand in your hand

kiss away

to help someone to get rid of feelings of sadness, worry, or anger by kissing them to show that you are sympathetic

locked in an embrace

holding each other tightly

pat

verb

if you pat an animal such as a dog or a horse, you touch it gently several times with a flat hand in a friendly way

pat

noun

the action of gently touching someone or something several times with a flat hand

pet

verb

to touch an animal or a person in a gentle way that shows you like or love them

physical

adjective

a physical person touches people a lot, either in a friendly or a rough way

press someone’s arm/hand

to squeeze someone’s arm or hand gently as a way of expressing friendship, sympathy, or love

ruffle

verb

to move someone’s hair in a friendly way

tactile

adjective

a tactile person likes to touch other people a lot, for example when talking to them

touchy-feely

adjective

informal tending to express feelings in an honest and physical way. This word often shows that you dislike people like this.

BuzzWord

hygge

a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

sofar

a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play