\ 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

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Other Words from taunt


taunter noun
tauntingly \ ˈtȯn-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce tauntingly (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 Trump uses Twitter almost exclusively to taunt and push other people’s buttons. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "How To Handle Political Conversations This Thanksgiving, According To Teens In Quarantine," 19 Nov. 2020 As the youngest of six children and being very tall, Tako remembers some rough times when other children would tease or taunt him. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Author Stephen Tako’s hairy blue character helps children learn to cope and care," 12 Nov. 2020 Full reintegration, however, escapes him at the hand of men who taunt him for his past deeds and ensure no one forgets. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Forgiveness is elusive in ‘Fire Will Come,’ a remarkable drama from Spain," 5 Nov. 2020 Heels taunt fans in the front row to invite derision. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Grappling with COVID-19: Ring of Honor creates professional wrestling bubble in Baltimore suburbs," 21 Oct. 2020 In addition, some individuals may be tempted to taunt a pet in a yard, even a fenced in yard. Traci Howerton, NOLA.com, "Keep frights at bay for your pets this Halloween with these simple tips," 20 Oct. 2020 The White House issued a proclamation honoring the birthday of a slave-owning Founding Father from Delaware as part of a long-running campaign to taunt Biden. Ryan Teague Beckwith, Bloomberg.com, "Debate’s Online Star Is a Fly Atop Pence’s Head: Campaign Update," 7 Oct. 2020 The kids were doing their typical rise and shine squeals, and the dog was already nagging to get into the backyard to taunt the squirrels. Jessica Saggio | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "Parents must keep going in the face of uncertainty and change," 14 Sep. 2020 Ryan Stylski even recovered his own onside kick allowing Ty to taunt Anderson for a second time. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "Stopping Kings running back Ty Stylski may be a problem," 9 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her flag was an incendiary taunt implying to many that the city was governed better under British colonial rule than Chinese. Rebecca Wright, Nectar Gan And Jenni Marsh, CNN, "Grandma Wong was a key figure in Hong Kong's protest movement -- until she disappeared," 31 Oct. 2020 McVay wasn’t aware of the taunt, but hoped Ramsey has changed his outlook. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Rams vs. Bills live stream (9/27): How to watch NFL Week 3 online, TV, time," 27 Sep. 2020 Again, few were masked, and some seemed to walk purposely close to their Biden counterparts as a kind of taunt. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "When Joe Biden’s in Town, but It’s Hard to Tell," 22 Sep. 2020 Each photo, taunt, and cruel word is a clear violation of my dignity and my worth as a human being. Melissa Blake, refinery29.com, "A Message To TikTok Parents Who Use My Face To Make Their Kids Cry," 27 Aug. 2020 Were the Vikings to take a similar tack in training camp practices over the next few weeks, the proper approach might be something resembling Augusta silence, interrupted by a timely taunt from a fellow golfer. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings placekicker Dan Bailey says silence can be just as jarring as a fan-filled stadium," 11 Aug. 2020 John Hickenlooper, Colorado’s former governor who is in the running to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, issued a similar taunt to his potential opponent. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Supreme Court punts on major natural gas pipeline," 29 June 2020 On the other hand, he is subjected to a kind of humiliating taunt, because the object of his desire remains stubbornly at arm’s length. Chris Wiley, The New Yorker, "Mark McKnight and the Bodies That Modernist Photography Didn’t See," 15 June 2020 The Italian Football Federation decided against punishing the club for the racist taunts. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Lukaku Racially Abused By Cagliari Fans, Scores Winner on PK," 1 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for taunt

Last Updated

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Taunt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taunt. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for taunt


How to pronounce taunt (audio)

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

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