tease

verb
\ˈtēz \
teased; teasing

Definition of tease 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make fun of : kid

b : to disturb or annoy by persistent irritating or provoking especially in a petty or mischievous way

c : to annoy with petty persistent requests : pester also : to obtain by repeated coaxing

d : to persuade to acquiesce especially by persistent small efforts : coax

e : to manipulate or influence as if by teasing

2 : to comb (hair) by taking hold of a strand and pushing the short hairs toward the scalp with the comb

3 : to tantalize especially by arousing desire or curiosity often without intending to satisfy it

4a : to disentangle and lay parallel by combing or carding tease wool

b : teasel

5 : to tear in pieces especially : to shred (a tissue or specimen) for microscopic examination

tease

noun

Definition of tease (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of teasing : the state of being teased

2 : one that teases

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Other Words from tease

Verb

teasingly \ˈtē-ziŋ-lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for tease

Verb

worry, annoy, harass, harry, plague, pester, tease mean to disturb or irritate by persistent acts. worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation. pursued a policy of worrying the enemy annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks. you're doing that just to annoy me harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power. harassed on all sides by creditors harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment. the strikers had been harried by thugs plague implies a painful and persistent affliction. plagued all her life by poverty pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks. constantly pestered with trivial complaints tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath. children teased the dog

Examples of tease in a Sentence

Verb

He and his wife enjoy teasing each other about their different tastes in music. The other children teased her because she was wearing braces. He was always teased by his brother about being short. Oh, don't get so angry. I was just teasing! The boy's mother told him to stop teasing the dog.

Noun

a pretty girl who has the reputation of being a bit of a tease The lower rate is just a tease to attract new customers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Huda Beauty, founded by influencer Huda Kattan, has also teased a full-body liquid highlighter. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Chrissy Teigen Is Doing Her Part to Bring Back Body Glitter," 20 June 2018 Since the show's finale in 2016, Downton Abbey has continued to tease us with the possibility of a movie to follow up the ITV and PBS series. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "The Downton Abbey Movie Is Finally Happening & All Your Favorite Characters Are Back," 13 July 2018 On social media, Beth has been teasing fans, taking notes, and replying to suggestions for potential sequel plot lines. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "“The Kissing Booth” Sequel: Everything We Know About the Possible Movie," 12 July 2018 But for his teammates to collectively concoct a way to tease him like this, someone who was far older and richer and more accomplished than any of them were? Ben Reiter, SI.com, "Why Carlos Beltrán Was the Perfect Addition to Aid the Astros' Journey to the World Series," 9 July 2018 Instead, Pompeo spent most of his time in meetings with his counterpart negotiator, Kim Yong Chol, a former spy chief who had lightheartedly teased him about his sleep habits. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "No, Pompeo did not give Kim Jong Un a ‘Rocket Man’ CD, State Department says," 7 July 2018 Ellis has a switch that takes him from smiling nice guy to glowering gamer with an intensity that causes teammates to tease him about it — and also steer clear at times. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A.J. Ellis shows what it takes for Padres," 7 July 2018 More details will be released Wednesday morning, which was teased by a countdown clock on Petty's website beginning earlier this week. Jem Aswad, chicagotribune.com, "Tom Petty boxed set of unreleased music coming in September," 12 July 2018 Drake, who remembers being teased as a kid for something as simple as having a gap in his teeth, has helped the charity raise money for local doctors to provide this care in their own communities. Jenny Vrentas, SI.com, "For Many NFL Players, Summer Doesn't Bring Much of a Break," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Digging into the events of the finale, there seemed to be a big tease of the Whisperers, with the herd of walkers out in the distance and the wide open field with the fence post. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Walking Dead' Boss Forecasts the Future for Lauren Cohan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and the Franchise," 16 Apr. 2018 If Foster's teases about Season 5 all play out as expected, Season 6 could see Liza going public with her age at work and dealing with the repercussions of maintaining her lie for so long. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "'Younger' Season 6 Is Coming—Everything You Need to Know," 3 July 2018 Wilde took to her Twitter on Tuesday after the trailer was released to praise the script and offer fans a little tease of the emotional roller coaster the story will bring. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "This Is Us Creator Brings More Tears in New Movie Life Itself with Olivia Wilde and Oscar Isaac," 10 July 2018 After years of hands-off teases and hollow promises, Dreams finally landed in our hands as a living, playable video game. Kyle Orland, Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The top ten games from E3 2018," 19 June 2018 Preview art from that issue, giving a tease of what’s to come, can be seen below. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Indie Comics Imprint Quillion Will Mix Comics and Gaming," 18 June 2018 Shiny copper tanks, a soaring ceiling and stunning white walls make the inside inviting, but the outside has a little come-hither tease to it as well. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee breweries take it outside with patios that serve as second taprooms," 18 May 2018 Ribbing was necessary, the silent treatment their tease of choice. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Justin Verlander shines in Astros' win over Angels," 26 Apr. 2018 Then again, a few weeks after the lawsuit tease, TWC filed for bankruptcy, which automatically pauses litigation against the company. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Weinstein Co. Buyer Lantern Investigating David Glasser for Interfering in $289M Sale," 11 July 2018

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

Noun

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tease

Verb

Middle English tesen, from Old English tǣsan; akin to Old High German zeisan to tease

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Learn More about tease

Dictionary Entries near tease

teasable

tea scrub

Teasdale

tease

tea-seed oil

teasehole

teasel

Statistics for tease

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tease

The first known use of tease was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for tease

tease

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tease

: to laugh at and criticize (someone) in a way that is either friendly and playful or cruel and unkind

: to annoy or bother (an animal)

: to make (hair) look fuller or bigger by combing it in a special way

tease

verb
\ˈtēz \
teased; teasing

Kids Definition of tease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to make fun of … some kids tease me about my name.— Paula Danziger, Amber Brown

2 : to annoy again and again Stop teasing the dog.

Other Words from tease

teaser noun

tease

noun

Kids Definition of tease (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of making fun of or repeatedly bothering a person or animal

2 : a person who makes fun of people usually in a friendly way

\ˈtēz \
teased; teasing

Medical Definition of tease 

: to tear in pieces especially : to shred (a tissue or specimen) for microscopic examination

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