tease

1 of 2

verb

teased; teasing

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
teasingly adverb

tease

2 of 2

noun

1
: the act of teasing : the state of being teased
2
: one that teases
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Ahead of the track's release, Kesha shared several snaps to tease the single on her Instagram page, including multiple photos of the songwriter posing by a white car at a gas station. Gabrielle Rockson, Peoplemag, 4 July 2024 After teasing the song for weeks, the pair of hitmakers shared the song on Wednesday morning. Thania Garcia, Variety, 3 July 2024
Noun
Now, with the album less than two months away, the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year is front-loading the release with a slew of teases. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, 4 July 2024 The tease featured the song’s unwieldy title across the face of a waning planet with a colorful corona erupting from its surface. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 13 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for tease 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tease.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near tease

Cite this Entry

“Tease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tease. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

tease

1 of 2 verb
teased; teasing
1
: to untangle and lay parallel by combing or carding
tease wool
2
a
: to annoy continually : pester, torment
b
c
: to make fun of
teaser noun
teasingly adverb

tease

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

Medical Definition

tease

transitive verb
teased; teasing
: to tear in pieces
especially : to shred (a tissue or specimen) for microscopic examination

More from Merriam-Webster on tease

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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