tantalize

verb
tan·​ta·​lize | \ ˈtan-tə-ˌlīz How to pronounce tantalize (audio) \
tantalized; tantalizing

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

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Other Words from tantalize

tantalizer noun

Did You Know?

Pity poor King Tantalus of Phrygia. The mythic monarch offended the ancient Greek gods. As punishment, he was plunged up to his chin in water in Hades, where he had to stand beneath overhanging boughs of a tree heavily laden with ripe, juicy fruit. But though he was always hungry and thirsty, Tantalus could neither drink the water nor eat the fruit. Anytime he reached for them, they would retreat from him. Our word tantalize is taken from the name of the eternally tormented king.

Examples of tantalize in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

This could be the season Ingram’s tantalizing upside comes together. Damichael Cole, SI.com, "Ranking the 10 Best Players Available in 2020 NBA Free Agency," 16 July 2019 Ruggs showed off speed that will tantalize NFL teams on an 81-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the first quarter. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "Tua Tagovailoa has career day in South Carolina, resets Alabama record book," 15 Sep. 2019 An art collective founded in Santa Fe, N.M., whose name came from words picked out of a hat, and which puts on immersive exhibitions that tantalize audiences with vivid visuals and storytelling that is magical, mysterious, or just downright weird. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (August 4)," 1 Aug. 2019 Democrats have pined over Texas for decades, tantalized by the diversifying population and liberal lean of the state’s urban cores. Los Angeles Times, "In suburban Texas, ‘it feels like there’s no place for lifelong Republicans like me’," 13 Aug. 2019 The other reason is that this wine is masterfully made, tantalizing, and singular. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "Drinking This Pennsylvania Rosé at This Wine Bar Is My Summer Ritual," 24 July 2019 Genteel movie stars like George Clooney and Paul Rudd tantalize paparazzi with full, bushy beards. Adrian Bonenberger, The New Republic, "The Sum of All Beards," 4 June 2019 Meanwhile, Tony-winning costume designer Linda Cho delivered us tantalizing Edith Head–like costumes. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Patricia Clarkson, Adrien Brody, and Debbie Harry Enjoy the Metropolitan Opera’s Opening Night Gala," 25 Sep. 2018 In one moment, Hopkins clenched his fist, his neck tendons went taut and out came all of his frustrations when a missed UNC shot sat tantalizing on the rim. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Huskies’ magic dries up as North Carolina gives UW another early exit from NCAA tournament," 24 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tantalize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tantalize

1597, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for tantalize

Tantalus

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Statistics for tantalize

Last Updated

14 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for tantalize

The first known use of tantalize was in 1597

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More Definitions for tantalize

tantalize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tantalize

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

tantalize

verb
tan·​ta·​lize | \ ˈtan-tə-ˌlīz How to pronounce tantalize (audio) \
tantalized; tantalizing

Kids Definition of tantalize

: 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

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