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

That news, plus a potential Sunset Overdrive port, No Man’s Sky heads under the sea, Undertale creator Toby Fox teases a new game with a new game, and Henry Cavill shows off his Geralt cosplay. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Red Dead Redemption 2 PC release hints, No Man's Sky heads under the sea," 2 Nov. 2018 The trailer teases Daredevil villain Bullseye, who is both a fan-favorite and a force to reckon with, while at the panel, the cast and crew explored how the introduction of the classic villain will impact the series. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Bullseye joins Netflix’s Daredevil for season 3," 6 Oct. 2018 Jack teases a devastating storyline about his brother Nicky. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "The Important Things You Missed During the 'This Is Us' Season 3 Premiere," 26 Sep. 2018 The preview teases appearances from Prince William, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle—but what about Kate Middleton? Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Barely Makes an Appearance in the Queen of the World Documentary," 19 Sep. 2018 Mahnken—who is singlehandedly responsible for making me ugly cry during every minute of his proposal to Shannan—took to Instagram last week to tease this brilliant crossover event. Ruby Buddemeyer, Marie Claire, "Two 'Queer Eye' Couples Went on a Double Date and I Can't Handle It," 23 July 2018 Sylvester Stallone was the first example of this, but Trump has even gone as far as to tease pardons for stars like Martha Stewart. Michael Arceneaux, Essence.com, "Op-Ed: Kim Kardashian Did A Great Thing, But Was It For The Greater Good?," 18 June 2018 Avenatti teases—including, perhaps, evidence that Cohen’s shady consulting fees made their way back to the Trump Organization, or to Trump himself. Benjamin Landy, The Hive, "“Rudy, If You See This, Let’s Go!”: Michael Avenatti Throws Down the Gauntlet," 11 May 2018 Rucker even teases a secret menu set with the works: Soft-serve, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and sprinkles. Michael Russell, OregonLive.com, "Channeling Paris, Canard opens next door to Le Pigeon tonight," 16 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The trailer for this film highlights a lot of wacky horror-thriller behavior, but doesn’t make the plot particularly clear — which is reminiscent of similar teases around Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods and Cloverfield. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The Verge fall movie preview, October 2018," 5 Sep. 2018 There was a bit of a tease in practice on Friday, before the suspension was announced. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sharks’ woes mount: Kane suspended for Game 2," 27 Apr. 2018 Working from Anthony Ragnone II's Black List screenplay Huntsville, director Eric England stirs up a modicum of mystery surrounding the central duo, but the tension quickly devolves into an empty tease. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Josie': Film Review," 16 Mar. 2018 There was a bit of a tease of that in the deal Harvey makes with Mike at the end of Season 6. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "'Suits' Star Gabriel Macht On The Show's Move From Glossy To Grounded," 6 Mar. 2017 Swann told the adult film actress who had just bared it all during a 15-minute strip tease. Laurie Kellman, The Seattle Times, "Stormy Daniels’ strip club act bookends Trump’s court reveal," 10 July 2018 Another big tease from season 1 was the existence of several additional worlds, with the show’s viral marketing campaign recently revealing that Delos owns six different parks. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Westworld season 2: our spoiler-free review," 20 Apr. 2018 The Next Movie Is Going to Be 'All Out War' The Source: One of the current Star Warriors Probability of Accuracy: Can a tease really be accurate or inaccurate? Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "Cantina Talk: Rian Johnson Knows How You Feel About The Last Jedi," 26 Mar. 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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Dictionary Entries near tease

teasable

tea scrub

Teasdale

tease

tea-seed oil

teasehole

teasel

Statistics for tease

Last Updated

5 Dec 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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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

Comments on tease

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