Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To rub or push against gently with or as if with the nose or snout.
  • intransitive verb To root or move with the snout.
  • intransitive verb To make rubbing or pressing motions with or as if with the nose or snout.
  • intransitive verb To nestle together.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To thrust the nose in or into; root up with the nose.
  • To touch or rub with the nose; press or rub the nose against.
  • To put a ring into the nose of (a hog).
  • To fondle closely, as a child.
  • To nurse; foster; rear.
  • To nose; burrow with the nose; rub noses.
  • To touch or feel something with the nose.
  • To go with the nose toward the ground.
  • To nestle.
  • To loiter; idle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To noursle or nurse; to foster; to bring up.
  • transitive verb To nestle; to house, as in a nest.
  • intransitive verb To work with the nose, like a swine in the mud.
  • intransitive verb To go with head poised like a swine, with nose down.
  • intransitive verb To hide the head, as a child in the mother's bosom; to nestle.
  • intransitive verb Prov. Eng. To loiter; to idle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb of animals, etc To touch someone or something with the nose.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb rub noses
  • verb dig out with the snout
  • verb move or arrange oneself in a comfortable and cozy position

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English noselen, to bend down, perhaps back-formation from noselyng, on the face, prostrate, from nose, nose; see nose.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Early 15th century Middle English noselyng, as nose + -lyng ("(frequentive)") (modern English nose +‎ -le (“(frequentive)”)). Modern affectionate, intimate sense 1590s, possibly influenced by nestle or nursle (frequentive of nurse).

Examples

Comments

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  • and all the while shall my heart be

    With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea

    --e.e. cummings

    October 9, 2007

  • For me a nuzzle is specifically an affectionate rubbing with the lips, nose and surrounding area. Camels are well-equipped physically for nuzzling, but temperamentally unsuited.

    November 17, 2007

  • Llamas nuzzle.

    November 17, 2007

  • Llama is one of the greatest words ever in the history of civilization on any planet. Ever.

    November 17, 2007

  • What is it with ungulates and nuzzling?

    November 17, 2007

  • I have never nuzzled with anyone. I swear.

    February 28, 2009