\ ˈtȯnt How to pronounce taunt (audio) , ˈtänt \
taunted; taunting; taunts

Definition of taunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to reproach or challenge in a mocking or insulting manner : jeer at



Definition of taunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sarcastic challenge or insult

Other Words from taunt


taunter noun
tauntingly \ ˈtȯn-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce taunt (audio) , ˈtän-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for taunt

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for taunt


ridicule, deride, mock, taunt mean to make an object of laughter of. ridicule implies a deliberate often malicious belittling. consistently ridiculed everything she said deride suggests contemptuous and often bitter ridicule. derided their efforts to start their own business mock implies scorn often ironically expressed as by mimicry or sham deference. youngsters began to mock the helpless wino taunt suggests jeeringly provoking insult or challenge. hometown fans taunted the visiting team

Taunt vs. Taut


Taunt and taut may easily be confused. The words are similar in spelling and pronunciation, though the resemblance does not extent to their syntax or meanings. Taut is an adjective that is most often used to refer to something that is pulled tight, like "a taut rope," or is bulging or filled to capacity, like "taut muscles." Taunt is a noun and a verb that refers to teasing or making fun of a person. That the two words sound similar creates confusion, and taunt, being the more common word, is sometimes substituted for taut. You can remember the difference between the two by remembering that tight and taut both lack the n of taunt.

Examples of taunt in a Sentence

Verb The boys continually taunted each other.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb During the game, the crowd would taunt him about his aunt Millie, dog Muffin or recent breakup. Andy Kessler, WSJ, 2 Jan. 2022 Cora shouted at Rodriguez not to taunt the shortstop, then wrapped his starter in a hug. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Oct. 2021 Donald Trump, to tempt or taunt the GOP? — there’s scholarship behind it, too. Calvin Woodward, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Oct. 2021 As the player ascends and battles through the tower in search of a distress beacon, Chak’lok will taunt the player through the loudspeakers, adding weight and flavor to your mission. Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2021 Inside all the singing was coming from the visiting Liverpool section, mostly to taunt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Rob Harris, ajc, 24 Oct. 2021 China has seized on the turmoil to taunt the United States and label it an unreliable partner. Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2021 Prime Minister Scott Morrison—who in 2017 brought a softball-size lump of coal into parliament to taunt the opposition party over its renewable energy plans—has so far refused to set tougher targets. Amy Gunia, Time, 7 Oct. 2021 As a professional courtesy or perhaps just to taunt him, Drudge goes to see Isikoff, who insults him a few different ways. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 21 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When the Chargers took the Allegiant Stadium field Sunday night, somebody turned off all the lights, and through the darkness a singular voice boomed into a sing-song taunt that would continually haunt. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2022 Magpie took it as a taunt and tried to suss out the identity of the jerk who teased her. Grayson Haver Currin, Outside Online, 7 Jan. 2022 This is the taunt implicit in everything Zuckerberg does at this point in his reign. David Roth, The New Republic, 22 Dec. 2021 The next day, in his role as an analyst on WSCR-AM 670, Kreutz admitted his knee-jerk reaction to Rodgers’ taunt was belligerence. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, 15 Dec. 2021 Xavier Woods performed Finn Balor’s taunt from the throne of the King of the Ring, and Finn balor acted like a heel in confronting him. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 19 Oct. 2021 The Cancun taunt comes from Cruz infamously flying to Cancun while more than 4 million homes in Texas lost power during an Arctic blast in February. Matt Young, Chron, 8 Oct. 2021 Corncrib taunt visitors, who can roam two miles of leafy trails and snap selfies by a waterfall. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2021 The National League team and players union had blasted what was first believed to be a racist taunt that was picked up by home plate microphones in the ninth inning of Colorado's 13-8 win at Coors Field on Sunday. NBC News, 9 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taunt.' 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 taunt


1539, in the meaning defined above


circa 1527, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for taunt


perhaps from Middle French tenter to try, tempt — more at tempt

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Time Traveler for taunt

Time Traveler

The first known use of taunt was circa 1527

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Dictionary Entries Near taunt




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Statistics for taunt

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Taunt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taunt. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for taunt



English Language Learners Definition of taunt

: to say insulting things to (someone) in order to make that person angry


\ ˈtȯnt How to pronounce taunt (audio) \

Kids Definition of taunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a mean insulting remark


taunted; taunting

Kids Definition of taunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make fun of or say insulting things to

More from Merriam-Webster on taunt

Nglish: Translation of taunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taunt for Arabic Speakers


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