Definition of effleurage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌɛfləːˈrɑːʒ/


[mass noun]
A form of massage involving a repeated circular stroking movement made with the palm of the hand.
Example sentences
  • ‘Facials are very relaxing as they involve stroking movements and effleurage and the massage goes around the shoulders and the back or the neck,’ she said.
  • There are five basic terms describing different massage maneuvers, vibration, tapotement, petrissage, effleurage and friction (small range intensive stroking).
  • These massages fuse elements of French effleurage, Japanese shiatsu and Chinese acupressure.


[with object]
Massage with a circular stroking movement: effleurage the shoulders and press gently
More example sentences
  • Oil your hands and effleurage the whole leg.
  • Approximately 20-30 min can be spent effleuraging the posterior side of the body and 10-15 min effleuraging the front of the legs and the arms.


Late 19th century: from French, from effleurer 'skim the surface, stroke lightly', literally 'remove the flower or ‘outer beauty’ of something'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ef¦fleur|age

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