Definition of osculate in English:


transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Mathematics
    (of a curve or surface) touch (another curve or surface) so as to have a common tangent at the point of contact.

    as adjective osculating ‘the plots have been drawn using osculating orbital elements’
    • ‘If seven points on a twisted cubic be joined, two and two, by twenty-one lines, then any seven planes that contain these 21 lines will osculate a second cubic curve.’
    • ‘Should the students be asked to sketch the osculating circle to a given curve at a given point, and then notice that as the point of contact changes, the radius of the circle is inversely proportional to the measure of curvature?’
  • 2 formal, humorous Kiss.

    ‘As a child I dreaded extended family occasions because of the endless osculating it entailed.’
    • ‘None of that endless schlepping up and down the country, pressing sweaty palms with the hoi polloi and osculating their kids.’
    plant a kiss on, brush one's lips against, blow a kiss to, air-kiss



/ˈäskyəˌlāt/ /ˈɑskjəˌleɪt/


Mid 17th century from Latin osculat- ‘kissed’, from the verb osculari, from osculum ‘little mouth or kiss’.