verb tan·ta·lize \ˈtan-tə-ˌlīz\

: to cause (someone) to feel interest or excitement about something that is very attractive, appealing, etc.


Full Definition of TANTALIZE

transitive verb
:  to tease or torment by or as if by presenting something desirable to the view but continually keeping it out of reach
intransitive verb
:  to cause one to be tantalized
tan·ta·liz·er noun

Examples of TANTALIZE

  1. She was tantalized by the possibility of earning a lot of money quickly.


First Known Use: 1597

Rhymes with TANTALIZE

advertise, agonize, alchemize, analyze, anglicize, anodize, anywise, aphorize, arborize, atomize, authorize, autolyze, balkanize, barbarize, bastardize, bestialize, bolshevize, booby prize, botanize, bowdlerize, brutalize, canalize, canonize, capsulize, caramelize, carbonize, cartelize, catalyze, catechize, cauterize, centralize, channelize, Christianize, cicatrize, circumcise, civilize, classicize, colonize, colorize, communize, compromise, concertize, concretize, creolize, criticize, customize, demonize, deputize, dialyze, digitize, disfranchise, dogmatize, dramatize, elegize, empathize, emphasize, energize, enfranchise, enterprise, equalize, erotize, eternize, etherize, eulogize, euphemize, exercise, exorcise, factorize, fantasize, federalize, feminize, fertilize, feudalize, fictionize, finalize, focalize, formalize, formulize, fossilize, fragmentize, fraternize, gallicize, galvanize, germanize, ghettoize, glamorize, globalize, gormandize, gothicize, gourmandize, grecianize, harmonize, heathenize, hebraize, hellenize, heroize, hierarchize, humanize, hybridize, hypnotize, idolize, immunize, iodize, ionize, ironize, Islamize, itemize, jeopardize, journalize, Judaize, laicize, latinize, legalize, lionize, liquidize, localize, magnetize, marbleize, martyrize, maximize, mechanize, melanize, melodize, memorize, merchandise, mesmerize, methodize, metricize, minimize, mobilize, modernize, moisturize, mongrelize, moralize, motorize, mythicize, narcotize, nasalize, nebulize, neutralize, normalize, notarize, novelize, obelize, odorize, optimize, organize, ostracize, otherwise, oversize, oxidize, paganize, palletize, paradise, paralyze, pasteurize, patronize, pauperize, penalize, penny-wise, personalize, pidginize, plasticize, Platonize, pluralize, pocket-size, poetize, polarize, polemize, pressurize, privatize, profitwise, prussianize, publicize, pulverize, racialize, randomize, rationalize, realize, recognize, rhapsodize, robotize, romanize, sanitize, satirize, scandalize, schematize, schismatize, scrutinize, sensitize, sermonize, signalize, simonize, sinicize, slenderize, sloganize, socialize, sodomize, solarize, solemnize, specialize, stabilize, Stalinize, standardize, sterilize, stigmatize, strategize, subsidize, summarize, supervise, syllogize, symbolize, sympathize, synchronize, syncretize, synopsize, synthesize, systemize, televise, temporize, tenderize, terrorize, tetanize, teutonize, texturize, theorize, thermalize, totalize, tranquilize, traumatize, tyrannize, unionize, unitize, urbanize, utilize, valorize, vandalize, vaporize, verbalize, vernalize, victimize, vitalize, vocalize, vulcanize, vulgarize, weather-wise, weatherize, westernize, winterize, womanize, worldly-wise
TANTALIZE Defined for Kids


verb tan·ta·lize \ˈtan-tə-ˌlīz\

Definition of TANTALIZE for Kids

:  to tease or excite by or as if by showing, mentioning, or offering something desirable but keeping it out of reach <Annemarie always tried … to build up the suspense and tantalize her sister. — Lois Lowry, Number the Stars>

Word History of TANTALIZE

There was once, so Greek mythology tells us, a king named Tantalus who was not a good man. He murdered his own son and served him as food to the gods. For this the king was punished by being made to stand underneath a fruit tree in water up to his chin. If he bent his head to drink, the water got lower and he could not reach it. If he lifted his head to bite into a fruit, the bough went higher and he could not reach it. He was made miserable by food and drink kept just out of reach. The word tantalize comes from the name of this mythical king.


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