\ ˈtēz How to pronounce tease (audio) \
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



Definition of tease (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of teasing : the state of being teased
2 : one that teases

Other Words from tease


teasingly \ ˈtē-​ziŋ-​lē How to pronounce tease (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for tease


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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Efforts to tease apart the vast swarm of proteins in venom — a field called venomics — have burgeoned in recent years, and the growing catalog of compounds has led to a number of drug discoveries. New York Times, 3 May 2022 Eleanor’s own multicultural background is likewise difficult to tease apart; how to decipher where one thread begins and another ends? Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2022 The team was able to tease apart the outcomes of omicron infection on people who were vaccinated, previously infected or lacking any immunity at all. Emily Anthes, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Dec. 2021 After all, the series usually uses its secret superbosses to tease who the major villain will be in the next game. Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2022 The rigor of Duke’s process—which can require up to four or five rounds of peer review—is legendary among academics, and even those who tease Duke for its style rarely accuse it of lacking substance. Jennifer Wilson, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2022 But Wanda will turn out to be the film’s main antagonist, something the trailers tease only loosely. Doctor Strange will travel to other realities with the help of America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). Chris Smith, BGR, 23 Apr. 2022 Jay Light came out to tease a Bullet Club-Undisputed Elite alliance. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 Two years later, Swift posed wearing a Drake pin on the cover of Entertainment Weekly to tease the release of her seventh album Lover. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 19 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her latest tease: A monochromatic, traffic cone-orange belted suit styled over a cutout bodysuit. Sam Reed, Glamour, 26 Apr. 2022 That’s a bloody but satisfying tease of what’s to come, after which things take a turn into more kid-friendly territory on both sides of the camera. Peter Debruge, Variety, 15 Mar. 2022 In a few words, tease what viewers should expect from Pieces of Her. Lauren Huff, EW.com, 3 Mar. 2022 Check out Meg’s bathtub tease and photo shoot below. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 21 Apr. 2022 But the formal coherence of the story itself is quite remarkable: an initial challenge/obstacle; a creative solution to the challenge; triumphant success — and a tease about future possibilities in the final line. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2022 The Cincinnati Zoo used Fiona's upcoming sibling status to tease that a new hippo is on the way. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 11 Apr. 2022 Pence's advocacy organization, Advancing American Freedom, rolled out his plan with a video narrated by Pence, which closely resembles a campaign tease, Thursday morning. Bybrittany Shepherd, ABC News, 31 Mar. 2022 But windows and beakers aren’t the only elements that tease at the plot for this season. Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of tease


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


1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tease


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

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Time Traveler for tease

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near tease



tea-seed oil

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Statistics for tease

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tease. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for tease


\ ˈtēz How to pronounce tease (audio) \
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 Is Not a Crayon
2 : to annoy again and again Stop teasing the dog.

Other Words from tease

teaser 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


transitive verb
\ ˈtēz How to pronounce tease (audio) \
teased; teasing

Medical Definition of tease

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tease

Nglish: Translation of tease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tease for Arabic Speakers


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