affectionate play (or foreplay without connection with the genital organs)
- of Pet
1873, "fondling indulgence," spoken noun from pet (v.). Indicating "amorous caressing, foreplay" is from 1920 (in F. Scott Fitzgerald).
foreplay without contact with the genital organs. See also intimate behavior.
Whatever was spoken of he would bring round to the superstitiousness of old maids, or the petting and spoiling of children.