Definition of kiss in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /kɪs/


[with object]
1Touch or caress with the lips as a sign of love, sexual desire, or greeting: he kissed her on the lips [with object and complement]: she kissed the children goodnight [no object]: we started kissing
More example sentences
  • They started to kiss, just lightly at first, and then with more passion.
  • The desire to kiss him again is almost overwhelming - but she can't ignore her own beliefs.
  • She closed her eyes once again as the man she loved hugged and kissed her one last time.
plant a kiss on, brush one's lips against, blow a kiss to, air-kiss
informal peck, give a peck to, give a smacker to, smooch, canoodle, neck, pet, kiss and cuddle, bill and coo
British informal snog
North American informal buss
informal, dated spoon
rare osculate
1.1 Billiards & Snooker (Of a ball) lightly touch (another ball) in passing.
Example sentences
  • On a straight line two balls can kiss a ball in the centre, one on the left and one on the right.


1A touch or caress with the lips: a quick kiss on the cheek
More example sentences
  • She then leaned back and they shared a deep, passionate kiss for a few seconds.
  • He never gave us a kiss or showed any affection at all.
  • As I lay on the couch that evening, I felt a touch on my forehead and a kiss on my cheek.
air kiss;
French kiss, soul kiss;
informal peck, smack, smacker, smackeroo, smooch
British informal snog
North American informal buss
rare osculation
1.1Used to express affection at the end of a letter (conventionally represented by the letter X): she sent lots of love and a whole line of kisses
More example sentences
  • One woman hands him a handwritten letter covered in kisses and hearts.
  • Let's begin with why do Xs sometimes (esp. at the end of a letter) signify kisses?
  • Highly emotive, Kahlo was passionate in her prose, sealing the letter illustrated with lipstick kisses.
2 Billiards & Snooker A slight touch of a ball against another ball.
Example sentences
  • Davis looked poised to grab another frame from a seemingly lost position only for a double kiss to scupper his comeback in the fifth frame.
  • Potting the white, or a double kiss, just like this.
3North American A small cake, biscuit, or sweet.



kiss and make up

Become reconciled.
Example sentences
  • We have our little spats from time to time, but we always kiss and make up before the neighbors start to wonder.
  • He was supposed to say sorry and she was supposed to forgive him, then they'd kiss and make up.
  • It was time for the brothers to kiss and make up, and also for Owen to reconcile with Davey.

kiss and tell

Recount one’s sexual exploits, especially to the media concerning a famous person: [as modifier]: this isn’t a kiss-and-tell book
More example sentences
  • Anything goes, just bear in mind that the winning entries will be printed here, and a kiss-and-tell article won't even be considered.
  • So far, he's not one to kiss and tell much about his encounters.
  • She doesn't kiss and tell and all personal details are carefully monitored.

kiss someone's arse (or North American ass)

vulgar slang Behave obsequiously towards someone.

kiss ass

Pronunciation: /ˈkɪs ˌas/
North American vulgar slang Behave in an obsequious or sycophantic way.

kiss something better

informal Comfort a sick or injured person, especially a child, by kissing the sore or injured part of their body as a gesture of removing pain.
Example sentences
  • Rob and I thought we were going to grow old together and even now, when the children fall down, I can hear him offering to kiss them better.
  • When they trip over their own feet, get tangled in a skipping rope or fall off their bike, their parents kiss it better and utter the well-worn phrase ‘You'll live’.
  • I'd kiss his graze better… and it always worked.

kiss something goodbye (or kiss goodbye to something)

informal Accept the certain loss of something: I could kiss my career goodbye
More example sentences
  • Leeds, for all their excellent progress in the Champions League, can realistically kiss the league championship goodbye after this defeat.
  • Step out of line and you can kiss your career goodbye.
  • Looks like the administration has decided on one strategy for jump-starting the economy - kissing the strong dollar goodbye.

kiss of death

Pronunciation: /ˌkɪs əv ˈdɛθ/
An action or event that causes certain failure for an enterprise: it would be the kiss of death for the company if it could be proved that the food was unsafe
More example sentences
  • This turn of events may be the kiss of death to such reform efforts as were underway.
  • It is unclear exactly how to go about impressing the sisters, but a failure to do so is a frequently cited kiss of death.
  • Correspondents were mainly concerned that anything described as rural seems afflicted with the kiss of death where government departments are concerned.

kiss of life

Pronunciation: /ˌkɪs əv ˈlʌɪf/
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Example sentences
  • He was given the kiss of life and an ambulance was called.
  • After listening to her chest, he began to give her the kiss of life and attempted CPR using two of his fingers.
  • Mr Young, a trained first aider, felt a faint pulse and gave his wife the kiss of life after calling for an ambulance.
8.1An action or event that revives a failing enterprise: good ratings gave the programme the kiss of life
More example sentences
  • Three years ago, they bought a battered complex of medieval, Tudor, Jacobean and Georgian buildings, and gave it the kiss of life.
  • Baxter's success has already given the sleepy skiing resort the kiss of life and has ignited plans for a proposed Aviemore centre.
  • ‘The garden was waiting 50 years to be given the kiss of life,’ garden project director, Ian August says.

kiss of peace

A ceremonial kiss given or exchanged as a sign of unity, especially the act of kissing the consecrated elements during the Christian Eucharist.
Example sentences
  • The Pope then beckoned and kissed them all, before then inviting the congregation to exchange the kiss of peace with their neighbours.
  • In the choir, he received the monks one by one and gave each the kiss of peace.
  • If judges and similar high officials have to stay apart, neither should the ordained join the people, either when preaching to them or to exchange the kiss of peace.

kiss the rod

Accept punishment submissively.
Example sentences
  • Better on this occasion to kiss the rod than try to dodge the issue.
  • If you have - go - retire into silent obscurity, and kiss the rod that scourges you.
  • I have reason to speak much of His goodness, and to kiss the rod, for it was sweetened with abundant mercies.

Phrasal verbs


kiss someone/thing off

North American informal Dismiss or reject someone or something abruptly.
Example sentences
  • Sure, I might have kissed the series off earlier this year, but The Simpsons still remains my most favorite tv series ever.
  • His newspaper indicates his desperation to kiss the story off.
  • After the game, the referees were kissed off by Heinsohn, who must still be enraged by the one call that went against him in his 690 games as Celtics coach.

kiss up to

North American informal Behave sycophantically or obsequiously towards (someone) in order to obtain something.
Example sentences
  • He's being kissed up to in public, but the knives are out for him.
  • He seemingly scheduled every day around publicly kissing up to the people who hate him most.
  • Even if these gals were your only friends, you can't spend your days kissing up to them.



Pronunciation: /ˈkɪsəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • And besides, you've got an incredibly kissable mouth.
  • Apply lip balm daily to keep your lips in kissable condition.
  • Sitting beside Mark her head resting on his shoulder, smiling and chatting with his sister she looked absolutely adorable and so very kissable.


Old English cyssan (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kussen and German küssen.

  • An action or event causing certain failure for an enterprise may be described as the kiss of death. Although the phrase is relatively recent it is thought to refer to a story in the Bible. In the biblical account of the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas Iscariot identified Jesus to the soldiers who would arrest him by greeting him with a kiss. The expression is often used of apparently beneficial or well-meaning actions that somehow tempt fate, and have the opposite result to that intended. A much earlier traditional expression for an act of betrayal, a Judas kiss, refers to the same story. The last words of Lord Nelson, fatally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, are usually quoted as ‘Kiss me, Hardy’, spoken to Thomas Hardy, the captain of Nelson's ship, HMS Victory. According to eyewitness accounts he did say this, but it was not his final speech. His real last words were either ‘Drink, drink. Fan, fan. Rub, rub’, asking the doctor to give him a drink, fan him, and rub him to relieve his pain, or ‘Thank God, I have done my duty’.

Words that rhyme with kiss

abyss, amiss, bis, bliss, Chris, Diss, hiss, Majlis, miss, reminisce, sis, Swiss, this, vis

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: kiss

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.