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 After Buckingham Palace's official announcement, Eugenie also took to social media to tease the official start of her own family. Harper's BAZAAR, "Royal Family Members Come Together to Celebrate Princess Eugenie's Pregnancy," 25 Sep. 2020 The album’s ambition was amplified by its playfulness, its casual mastery, its willingness to tease and please while ignoring — and transcending — boundaries. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Sign O’ the Times," 24 Sep. 2020 The aim is to tease the country’s politicians, not for doing too much to integrate into the EU, but for doing too little. The Economist, "Is Switzerland in Europe? Upcoming referendums will show how the Swiss may relate to the EU," 26 Sep. 2020 During a recent scrimmage at FirstEnergy Stadium, Mayfield threw an interception on the final play, and Garrett rushed over to tease him, taking the sting out of the moment. cleveland, "How Myles Garrett pondered quitting football after Mason Rudolph, became a better man, and wants to clear the air with the QB," 9 Sep. 2020 Arkham Origins dropped a series of cryptic images and symbols to tease the grand reveal. Nick Romano, EW.com, "New Gotham Knights Batman game revealed in first killer footage," 22 Aug. 2020 Mister Rogers would not have used Twitter to tease a teenage climate activist. Arkansas Online, "Wisdom and grace from Mr. Rogers," 23 Aug. 2020 Marshmello's announcement follows a post from earlier this month that seemed to tease a forthcoming collaboration with Demi Lovato. Katie Bain, Billboard, "Guess Which Two Dance World Stars Just Announced That They Have New Albums on the Way," 19 Aug. 2020 Wade continued to tease James later on, posting an Instagram photo comparing his open-shirt look with his former teammate's. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, "Dwyane Wade Trolls LeBron James Over Open-Shirt Look: 'Got Baby Oil on His Chest'," 11 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Plus, the early plot tease from DC suggested that the comic will be very focused on conspiracy, and preview pages saw artist Jorge Fornés homaging classic conspiracy movies like The Parallax View. Christian Holub, EW.com, "The best new comics to read in October: Spooky season is here," 6 Oct. 2020 Beyond that, Kershaw has been a tease before, inching tantalizing close to redemption only to falter again. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Dodgers Ace Clayton Kershaw Is Ready—Again—to Put His Playoff Struggles Behind Him," 5 Oct. 2020 The Ravens were the big tease last season, winning 14 of 16 regular-season games and securing home-field advantage for the playoffs. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Mike Preston: Ravens' blowout loss to Chiefs the kind that scars teams for entire season | COMMENTARY," 29 Sep. 2020 Lanez mobilized his fanbase earlier in the day with the tease of a potentially dynamite admission. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Tory Lanez's Big Announcement Was Actually a Big Tease," 25 Sep. 2020 The initial tease for Piranesi, first announced last fall, seemed promising in this regard. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Quarantine Book Club: How I got lost in Piranesi during the pandemic," 17 Sep. 2020 The showcase concluded with a brief tease of a sequel to 2019's God of War remake. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "PlayStation 5 event: $499 with a disc drive, $399 without, on Nov. 12," 16 Sep. 2020 The actor remained mum on the topic, which trended for days, then broke his silence on Twitter Monday night with an attention-grabbing tease to remind people to vote _ face palm and all. Nardine Saad, chicagotribune.com, "Now that Chris Evans has your attention, he has an important message for you," 15 Sep. 2020 Girl Scout cookie season officially begins in January -- so this tantalizing treat is just a tease at this point. Meredith Wood, CNN, "The next Girl Scouts cookie flavor to grace your mouth: French toast," 18 Aug. 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

9 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tease. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for tease

tease

verb
How to pronounce tease (audio)

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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Comments on tease

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