Word of the Day


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1. to touch someone with your lips because you love them or have sexual feelings for them
a. to touch someone with your lips when you say hello or goodbye to them
b. to touch someone or something with your lips as a sign of respect
2. to touch someone or something very gently

Origin and usage

The word kiss comes from the Old English verb ‘cyssan’ meaning ‘touch with the lips’. Its use to describe the way in which two people greet each other affectionately by touching the lips comes from sometime in the 1300s.


The word kiss refers to the habit of touching someone or something with your lips. You can kiss a person as a way of greeting them, to say goodbye, because you have great affection for them, or because you want to show respect.

Kiss can also be used in literature. It’s a figure of speech that indicates a very light, soft touch (‘the kiss of dew on the grass’ or ‘the kiss of sunlight on the windowpane’).

There are many English idioms that include the word kiss:

Kiss of death’ means an action that leads directly to the destruction of something.
‘Blow a kiss‘ is a sign of affection that involves putting your hand or fingers to your lips, kissing them, then pretending to blow it away toward another person.

Kiss up’ means excessively praising or flattering someone to win their approval. It also refers to a person who behaves this way.


“A kiss is a secret told to the mouth instead of the ear; kisses are the messengers of love and tenderness.”
(Ingrid Bergman)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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