Difference Between Cuddle and Snuggle

Main Difference – Cuddle vs Snuggle

Cuddle and snuggle both refer to showing affection, love, warmth through pressing, lying close or holding one another. Although these two words have the same denotations, there are distinct connotations between them. Cuddle does not have specific romantic or sexual connotations; therefore, it can be used in any situation. In contrast, snuggle hints passion and romance; thus, it is mainly used to refer to an embrace between lovers. This is the main difference between cuddle and snuggle.Difference Between Cuddle and Snuggle - infographic

Cuddle vs Snuggle – Meaning and Usage

Cuddle and snuggle are forms of physical intimacy. Both cuddle and snuggle have similar meanings. They both refer to two people holding one another with each person’s arms wrapped around the other’s body. They happen when two people are lying or sitting close together in a comfortable position. Both these actions express love, warmth, and affection, and are done only with loved ones.

It has been proved scientifically that cuddling and snuggling produces a hormone called oxytocin. This is commonly called the love hormone. Higher levels of oxytocin result in strong bonds and kinships.Main Difference - Cuddle vs Snuggle

Although cuddle and snuggle have the same meaning, they have different connotations. Snuggle is often associated with romantic, passionate and sexual connotations. The term snuggle is used with spouse or lover. Snuggling is also associated with the action of burrowing. For example, when you are snuggling, you tend to burrow your head onto your partner’s chest.


In contrast, cuddle is not associated with any romantic or sexual connotations. The term cuddle is used with children, and animals. By this sense, a mother and child holding each other in a comfortable position can be worded as cuddle. But most of us don’t use snuggle to describe the position of the mother and child. This is because snuggle has romantic and sexual connotations. Cuddle is also indicative of holding; when two people are cuddling, they are holding each other.Difference Between Cuddle and Snuggle

Difference Between Cuddle and Snuggle

  • Cuddle and Snuggle have the same meaning.
  • Both refer to two people holding one another with each person’s arms wrapped around the other’s body while lying or sitting close together in a comfortable position.
  • Snuggle has romantic and sexual connotations and is often used to describe a lovers’ embrace.
  • Snuggle is not often used with children and animals.
  • Cuddle does not have sexual connotations, but can be used to describe two lovers as well.

Image Courtesy:

“Muscles got a morning cuddle” by   via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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