taunt

verb
\ 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

taunt

noun

Definition of taunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sarcastic challenge or insult

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from taunt

Verb

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

Synonyms for taunt

Synonyms: Verb

bait, hassle, haze, heckle, needle, ride, tease

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for taunt

Verb

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

Verb

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

After this past week’s taunting of Instagram’s nudity regulations with a torso-in-the-mirror selfie, though, she’s given us a few days to study up. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Wore Yeezy Boost 350s and Calvin Klein Underwear," 21 Sep. 2018 Rader resurfaced in 2004 with more chilling, taunting letters and packages in hopes of staying in the spotlight. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "BTK killer Dennis Rader tells all in unheard interview for doc: 'It's a demon that's within me'," 21 Aug. 2018 Lucy is the literal devil on Bean's shoulder, egging her on in wicked ways while simultaneously taunting Elfo. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Disenchantment review: Groening’s new Netflix toon is off to a bloody good start," 7 Aug. 2018 The boys had been taunted by a group of Black Hebrew Israelites, who shouted racist and homophobic slurs. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The High School Deplorables," 22 Jan. 2019 There are a lot of scary things about the Trump administration, like separating babies from their parents at the border and removing environmental protections and taunting foreign leaders in all-caps tweets. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Omarosa May Be Ridiculous, But She’s Not a “Terror”," 13 Aug. 2018 The Trump administration has gone as far as to gleefully taunt delegates at COP24 with a panel promoting the use of more coal. Umair Irfan, Vox, "World leaders are working out a climate deal in Poland — despite Trump," 14 Dec. 2018 Brash, impulsive leaders who only a few months ago taunted each other across a nuclear abyss, Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim set aside their threats in a gamble that for now, at least, personal diplomacy can counteract decades of enmity and distrust. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Trump and Kim See New Chapter for Nations After Summit," 11 June 2018 Sandmann said in his statement the students from his all-male high school were waiting for their buses near Banyamyan’s group when the latter started to taunt them. Jeffrey Collins, The Seattle Times, "3 groups, many videos, many interpretations of D.C. encounter," 22 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The taunt is an insult to British Prime Minister Theresa May so soon after the Kremlin’s failed assassination attempt. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Russia Smoke Bomb," 8 June 2018 WASHINGTON - Shoves, slashes and taunts filled the final minutes of the Washington Capitals’ 6-2 victory in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "Golden Knights' frustration spills over with nasty end to Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final," 5 June 2018 As Washington braced for a snowstorm on Saturday morning, Trump was hunkered down in his private quarters at the White House tweeting taunts to Democrats. Seung-min Kim, The Seattle Times, "Inside Trump’s defiance on the longest shutdown ever," 13 Jan. 2019 After a Diamondbacks home run, Bradley responded to the heckling Phillies fans with his own taunts. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Archie Bradley had the best time taunting Phillies fans after D-backs home runs," 26 Apr. 2018 That was brutal: Logan barely got any words in, and instead was largely subjected to cruel taunts that visibly made him tear up. Nilay Patel, The Verge, "Casey Neistat interviews Logan Paul: ‘There’s a difference between being culturally insensitive and being insensitive’," 27 July 2018 Sandra's taunt got plenty of applause from the Golden Globe audience. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Emma Stone Shouted "I'm Sorry" at the Golden Globes 2019 After Sandra Oh Called Out Whitewashing in "Aloha"," 7 Jan. 2019 Over the past few days, the social networking communities of Russian soccer fans have filled with taunts and hostile language towards minorities and teams opposing Russia. Washington Post, "Can Russia, with its history of racist attacks and hooligans, put on a World Cup welcome?," 12 June 2018 If the appearance of amorous songs of tribute for Osorio felt remarkable, so, too, did the sudden absence of another chant — the homophobic taunt that Mexico fans have traditionally cried out in unison whenever opponents take goal kicks. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Love Story: Mexico Wins Again and Its Fans Roar for the Coach," 24 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of taunt

Verb

1539, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1527, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for taunt

Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about taunt

Dictionary Entries near taunt

tauhid

taula

Taungthu

taunt

Taunton

Taunton turkey

Taunus

Statistics for taunt

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for taunt

The first known use of taunt was circa 1527

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for taunt

taunt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of taunt

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

taunt

noun
\ ˈtȯnt How to pronounce taunt (audio) \

Kids Definition of taunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a mean insulting remark

taunt

verb
taunted; taunting

Kids Definition of taunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make fun of or say insulting things to

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on taunt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with taunt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for taunt

Spanish Central: Translation of taunt

Nglish: Translation of taunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taunt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on taunt

What made you want to look up taunt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!