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transitive verb \ˈtēz\

Simple Definition of tease

  • : to laugh at and criticize (someone) in a way that is either friendly and playful or cruel and unkind

  • : to annoy or bother (an animal)

  • : to make (hair) look fuller or bigger by combing it in a special way

Full Definition of tease


  1. 1a :  to disentangle and lay parallel by combing or carding <tease wool>b :  teasel

  2. 2 :  to tear in pieces; especially :  to shred (a tissue or specimen) for microscopic examination

  3. 3a :  to disturb or annoy by persistent irritating or provoking especially in a petty or mischievous wayb :  to annoy with petty persistent requests :  pester; also :  to obtain by repeated coaxingc :  to persuade to acquiesce especially by persistent small efforts :  coaxd :  to manipulate or influence as if by teasinge :  to make fun of :  kid

  4. 4 :  to comb (hair) by taking hold of a strand and pushing the short hairs toward the scalp with the comb

  5. 5 :  to tantalize especially by arousing desire or curiosity often without intending to satisfy it

teas·ing·ly play \ˈtē-ziŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of tease

  1. He and his wife enjoy teasing each other about their different tastes in music.

  2. The other children teased her because she was wearing braces.

  3. He was always teased by his brother about being short.

  4. Oh, don't get so angry. I was just teasing!

  5. The boy's mother told him to stop teasing the dog.

Origin of tease

Middle English tesen, from Old English tǣsan; akin to Old High German zeisan to tease

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of tease

worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester, tease mean to disturb or irritate by persistent acts. worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation <pursued a policy of worrying the enemy>. annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks <you're doing that just to annoy me>. harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power <harassed on all sides by creditors>. harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment <the strikers had been harried by thugs>. plague implies a painful and persistent affliction <plagued all her life by poverty>. pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks <constantly pestered with trivial complaints>. tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath <children teased the dog>.




Simple Definition of tease

  • : a person who teases other people; especially : a person who seems to be sexually interested in someone but who is not serious about having sexual relations

  • : a joking remark that criticizes someone in a friendly way : a teasing remark

Full Definition of tease

  1. 1 :  the act of teasing :  the state of being teased

  2. 2 :  one that teases

Examples of tease

  1. a pretty girl who has the reputation of being a bit of a tease

  2. The lower rate is just a tease to attract new customers.


First Known Use of tease


Medical Dictionary


transitive verb \ˈtēz\

Medical Definition of tease


  1. :  to tear in pieces; especially :  to shred (a tissue or specimen) for microscopic examination

Seen and Heard

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February 11, 2016

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