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 teasingly (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

While the movie opens with Harlan's housekeeper (Edi Patterson) finding him dead, recaps of the previous evening's birthday celebration from multiple viewpoints allow the ever-formidable Plummer to show what a teasing old rogue the author was. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Knives Out': Film Review | TIFF 2019," 8 Sep. 2019 Minaj teased the collection on her Instagram account earlier in the summer. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Nicki Minaj Gives Sneak Peek Of Her Fendi Capsule Collection," 8 Sep. 2019 The photo, which features a copy of the Bible opened to Psalm 57:6, a flashlight, a jar of lemons and multiple rough drafts, focuses on a sheet of notebook paper teasing the album title and a potential tracklist. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Brad Pitt Joins Kanye West for Sunday Service Held in Watts with Kim, Khloé, Kourtney and Kendall," 1 Sep. 2019 Homecoming also ended on a cliffhanger teasing the Sinister Six, a group of iconic Spider-Man villains. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "What the Future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Looks Like Without Spider-Man," 22 Aug. 2019 Metacritic score: 59 As Good Boys’ marketing cheekily teased, 12-year-olds won’t actually be able to see this film about three 12-year-old boys, on account of its R rating (for, basically, raunch and language). Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Good Boys," 16 Aug. 2019 Those were the days before the Galacticos and Muñoz joined a side teasing the relegation zone before the arrival of near-mythical heroes like Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas and Paco Gento who lifted them to the apex of the sport. SI.com, "Miguel Muñoz: The Man Who Told Alfredo Di Stefano to F*ck Off & Led the Ye-Ye's to European Glory," 25 July 2019 Shoulder pads; teased hair; spandex—the '80s tend to get a bad rap, stylistically speaking. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This Instagram Account of '80s Decor Will Be Your New Favorite Follow," 28 June 2019 Americans are at times teased for preferring less-flavorful beer that is served near freezing, while Britons and Irish people are thought to like fuller brews poured warm. Heidi Mitchell, WSJ, "What Is the Best Temperature for Drinking Beer?," 6 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The trailer is the sweetest of teases for the new movie, featuring in rapid-fire montage some of the most beloved moments from Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel. Constance Grady, Vox, "The trailer for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women promises a focus on women’s ambition, not romance," 13 Aug. 2019 Even more of a tease is how Armstrong seems to make up fictional plotlines that later turn out to be true. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, "Media, Money and Murdochs: How 'Succession' Became the Perfect Show for the Trump Era," 31 July 2019 So if there are any young kids out there who have a passion to pursue dance, don’t be discouraged by those who might laugh or make fun, tease or taunt. Washington Post, "Lara Spencer apologizes for ridiculing Prince George and ballet, but the damage has been done," 26 Aug. 2019 Well, without knowing it, Popeyes had thrown down the fried-chicken gauntlet with a Twitter tease that rival Chick-fil-A could not resist. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "Are you Team Popeyes or Team Chick-Fil-A? #ChickenWars rages online," 23 Aug. 2019 But wait — waiting is what the reader is doing, mostly — the tease comes up again 63 pages later. David Shribman, BostonGlobe.com, "Tuned in to the ‘Summer of ’69’," 22 Aug. 2019 The chicken sandwich that Sweet Dixie Kitchen served for that two-day tease is, as of last week, available at all 3,102 Popeyes locations in the United States. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is Here to Save America," 20 Aug. 2019 So can Bears fans handle another season in the gray area, another year that could very well end with a hung verdict and more divisive debate on whether their quarterback is a championship-caliber playmaker or just a giant tease? Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "5 questions as Bears training camp ends: Has the defense adjusted to Chuck Pagano? Is Mitch Trubisky progressing? And how healthy is this team?," 10 Aug. 2019 Prior to those teases, Epic kicked off arguably the most ambitious in-game event in Fortnite to date, with a massive clash between a giant pink robot and a very angry kaiju. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fortnite season X adds mech suits, a meteor, and ‘volatile rift zones’," 1 Aug. 2019

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

12 Sep 2019

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)
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

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

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