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

After teasing fans about a cover art reveal later in the week, Ari decided to give her fans a gift and released the cover art early. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About Ariana Grande's New Album, "Thank U, Next"," 23 Jan. 2019 Bobby took to Instagram to tease his unforgettable performance alongside Tan France and Antoni Porowski. Maddie Hiatt, House Beautiful, "UPDATE: Bobby Berk Returned To TV Last Night As Britney Spears," 18 Jan. 2019 But Gwen’s decided to take a short break from loving on her country star boyfriend to tease him just a little bit. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Gwen Stefani Just Resurfaced the Ultimate Throwback Photo of Boyfriend Blake Shelton," 17 Jan. 2019 Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer announced a new mobile game, simply titled Stranger Things 3: The Game, last night at The Game Awards and dropped a short trailer to tease the game. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Stranger Things 3 game will let you jump into new Hawkins madness," 7 Dec. 2018 Today, in an improved economy, a rag-tag group of individual investors, plus some Wall Street giants, is buying these old loans and trying to tease value out of them. Cezary Podkul, WSJ, "‘I Can Be the Bank’: Individual Investors Buy Busted Mortgages," 20 Nov. 2018 To tease the new BBC documentary Prince, Heir, and Son: Charles at 70, the news organization released a clip of the heir talking about his future in the monarchy. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Prince Charles Seemed REALLY Annoyed During His BBC Documentary Interview," 8 Nov. 2018 Snake pit Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey continues to tease bits of Ancient Greek mythos in its trailers. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Gabe Newell struggles with "triple kill" and BattleTech announces its first expansion," 24 Aug. 2018 After teasing the idea of delivering additional projects, Juice WRLD paid homage to Frank Ocean's Channel Orange on Twitter, which celebrated its sixth anniversary on July 10. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Juice WRLD Hints at Releasing More Projects in 2018," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then pat and shape the area and use hair from the temples to secure the teases area in place. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Appears on the September "Vogue Brazil" Cover," 29 Aug. 2018 The latter received a much vaguer tease, with nothing more than series character Tom Nook appearing with a brief dialogue passage indicating that a sequel was coming. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "New NES controllers headline announcement-filled Nintendo Switch presentation," 13 Sep. 2018 The teases — that there were four finalists, that the decision would come down to the wire — made for familiar Trumpian theater, public yet opaque, prodding news cycles of excited rumor and mind-reading. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Trump’s Reality TV Supreme Court Rollout, Slick and Substance-Free," 10 July 2018 Prior to the song tease, Underwood had teased that something may be coming soon, sharing a picture of herself in the studio as well as a photo of her first rehearsal since her accident. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "Carrie Underwood To Perform New Single at ACM Awards in First Performance Since Accident," 9 Apr. 2018 Now a report from South Korea's Yonhap News Agency adds a few more details to Samsung's secretive tease. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Samsung’s foldable smartphone reportedly costs $1,770, launches in March," 12 Nov. 2018 The picture Trey Adams posted on social media Thursday was more than just a tease: The senior left tackle is back practicing with the No. Adam Jude, The Seattle Times, "Trey Adams, Hunter Bryant, Myles Gaskin expected to return for UW Huskies’ November push," 26 Oct. 2018 That welcome in black and white is a tease, because the ensembles on display boast the vivid, saturated, gilded, even neon color, and the decorative dynamics, of Islamic art. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Contemporary Muslim Fashions’ Review: Eye-Catching Modesty," 19 Sep. 2018 After weeks of teases, the first full Captain Marvel trailer is finally here. Dan Barna, Glamour, "The First Captain Marvel Trailer Is Finally Here—and It's So Badass," 18 Sep. 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

31 Jan 2019

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)
US : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on tease

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tease

Spanish Central: Translation of tease

Nglish: Translation of tease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tease for Arabic Speakers

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