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

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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

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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

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 A few days after his August 7 tweet, Musk sent David Einhorn, the billionaire manager of fund Greenlight Capital, a pair of shorts taunting him over his short position in Tesla. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Elon Musk’s plan to own investors betting against Tesla is backfiring," 19 Aug. 2018 Excerpts of the Facebook Live video show the victim with his mouth taped shut slumped in a corner as at least two assailants cut off his sweatshirt and others taunt him off camera. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Man sentenced for hate crime in live-streamed beating of mentally disabled teen," 6 July 2018 Thomas, another former Celtic, said Rondo taunted him about a video tribute he was set to receive from Boston on the same night as Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement ceremony. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "Lonzo Ball 'isn’t running from the competition' after Rajon Rondo joins Lakers," 3 July 2018 One of the players contacted Barriss because a rival in the game was taunting him. Washington Post, "Detective: Man confessed to making deadly Kansas hoax call," 22 May 2018 Less understood, though, are the online corridors where gang members taunt and threaten rivals. Annie Sweeney, chicagotribune.com, "Tweets from gang members express grief over violence — but then turn to anger, researchers find," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Although Huntsville was by then a major center for the U.S. Army’s space-and-rocket program, Alabama was still a deep South state, and the Odutola children were exposed for the first time to racial taunts and bullying. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, "Reimagining Black Experience in the Radical Drawings of Toyin Ojih Odutola," 17 July 2018 Holder-Joffrion attempted to continue her prayer, only to be met with more taunts. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Alabama Man Arrested After Pulling Gun, Shouting 'Womp Womp' at Immigration Rally," 2 July 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near taunt

tauhid

taula

Taungthu

taunt

Taunton

Taunton turkey

Taunus

Statistics for taunt

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for taunt

The first known use of taunt was circa 1527

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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

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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

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