tease

verb
\ 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

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 How to pronounce tease (audio) \ 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 Ironically, this tangle of brain cells is helping scientists tease apart a larger problem: how to help people with Alzheimer’s disease. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "Brain Cells Blinking in Rhythm May Hold Clues to Alzheimer’s Disease," 12 Feb. 2021 Paramount+ will tease the show with a short ad spot during this Sunday’s Super Bowl LV. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, "Yeehaw, Yellowstone Is Getting a Prequel," 6 Feb. 2021 The differences might stem from physical factors unknown to keepers of knee knowledge, or psychological and social differences—but how to tease those apart? Tom Simonite, Wired, "New Algorithms Could Reduce Racial Disparities in Health Care," 25 Jan. 2021 The royal, who's previously written two nonfiction tomes about Queen Victoria, children's books, and a memoir, shared a video to tease the novel. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Sarah Ferguson Wrote a Romance Novel Inspired by Her Great-Great-Aunt," 14 Jan. 2021 Among the evidence that researchers can now tease from fossilized tooth plaque, plant proteins—unlike animal DNA, milk proteins, or the sturdier microscopic crystals found in the tough hulls and stalks of grain—break down easily. History & Culture, "Philistines had a taste for far-flung foods, fossilized tooth plaque reveals," 21 Dec. 2020 Rodriguez also couldn’t help but tease the location on the show. Glamour, "Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez’s Wedding: Everything We Know So Far," 3 Dec. 2020 Cards were an excuse to hang out and laugh, team up and tease. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Our favorite card games for holiday fun, from Brisc to Slap," 21 Nov. 2020 This summer, ahead of the game's final-stretch beta test, the developers at Asobo Studio used a screen-share feature in a video call to tease the VR mode to us at Ars Technica. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Microsoft Flight Simulator in VR: A turbulent start for wide-open skies," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Here are some of the best reactions to Solange's new music tease. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Solange Just Teased New Music on Instagram and the Fan Reactions Are Perfect," 13 Feb. 2021 Fans in the stands and a celebrity at courtside: Saturday's matchup between top prospects Emoni Bates and Mikey Williams was a tease of normalcy for basketball fans. Tyler J. Davis, Detroit Free Press, "What to make of Mikey Williams vs. Emoni Bates: 3 observations from Lake Norman-Ypsi Prep," 7 Feb. 2021 What is your cryptic one-sentence tease for the third episode? Dan Snierson, EW.com, "This Is Us creator breaks down that gasp-inducing premiere twist," 28 Oct. 2020 The comedic actor’s neon, ‘80s aerobic instructor look stood out immediately in the flurry of vignettes from various TV decades; an anchor in an otherwise chaotic tease of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first official series on Disney+. Kelsea Stahler, refinery29.com, "Kathryn Hahn Is Back To Playing The Best Friend In WandaVision — Or Is She?," 15 Jan. 2021 Carlson's segment, and Grenell's tease of additional information, coincided with an Axios report that a female Chinese spy targeted a host of politicians nationwide, including California officials and congressmen, Midwestern mayors, and more. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Grenell: Secret intelligence shows 'much more' on US-China collusion," 8 Dec. 2020 Likewise with Joanna’s new cooking show, Magnolia Table, although cable and satellite viewers did get to see a couple of episodes on the Discovery Channel this weekend as a tease. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia Network launches on Discovery+ with a new season of Fixer Upper," 4 Jan. 2021 But, talking to EW before the world changed, Wells gave a tease of what to expect in the final season. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Showtime reveals Shameless final season premiere date," 13 Oct. 2020 No, my memory calls him up as ‘Bill Rinehart’ – just ‘Bill Rinehart’ the droll, the witty, the tease, the black-board’s artist, at the old Priestland School. Mary Ann Ashcraft, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll Yesteryears: Glimpse at early life of sculptor William Henry Rinehart," 26 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tease

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tease

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tease. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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 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
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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tease

Nglish: Translation of tease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tease for Arabic Speakers

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