1

tease

verb \ ˈtēz \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of tease

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

play \ˈtē-ziŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of tease in a Sentence

  1. He and his wife enjoy teasing each other about their different tastes in music.

  2. The other children teased her because she was wearing braces.

  3. He was always teased by his brother about being short.

  4. Oh, don't get so angry. I was just teasing!

  5. The boy's mother told him to stop teasing the dog.

Recent Examples of tease from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of tease

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

tease Synonyms

Synonyms
chaff, jive, joke, josh, kid, rally, razz, rib, ride, roast, goof on [slang], take the mickey out of [British], make game of, pick on
Related Words
banter; fool, fun, string along; jest, quip, wisecrack; gag, jape, jolly, yuk (or yuck) [slang]

Synonym Discussion of 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

2

tease

noun

Definition of tease

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

Examples of tease in a Sentence

  1. a pretty girl who has the reputation of being a bit of a tease

  2. The lower rate is just a tease to attract new customers.

Recent Examples of tease from the Web

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

1680


TEASE Defined for English Language Learners

tease

verb

Definition of tease for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

tease

verb \ ˈtēz \

Definition of tease for Students

teased; teasing
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.

teaser

noun

2

tease

noun

Definition of tease for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

tease

transitive verb \ ˈtēz \

medical Definition of tease

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


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