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

By Thursday morning, the president was teasing a press conference on the issue that was many assumed would be the announcement of an executive order relating to the census. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: So Long, Alex Acosta," 14 July 2019 The new Lion King hews closely to the original’s script; Disney teased the overlaps with a trailer that replicated the early-’90s promotional video shot for shot. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Uncanny Fun of the Live-Action Lion King," 11 July 2019 In his summer league debut, Bolden teased his potential. Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "John Beilein still getting used to NBA and other observations from Cleveland Cavaliers summer league," 2 July 2019 In a statement with The Knot, Lindsay teases an August wedding date with a location somewhere in the Caribbean. Essence, "'Bachelorette' Star Rachel Lindsay Drops New Engagement Photos With Fiancé Bryan Abasolo," 20 June 2019 LaVar had teased a looming decision for LaMelo with China and Australia being the final two options. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "LaMelo Ball announces that he will play in Australia's NBL: 'I'm trying to be the No. 1 pick'," 17 June 2019 LaVar had teased a looming decision for LaMelo with China and Australia being the final two options. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "LaMelo Ball headed to Australia, and then the Phoenix Suns in the NBA draft?," 17 June 2019 Tawney had teased two locks in front of my ears, like sideburns. Mary Grimm, The New Yorker, "Back Then," 17 June 2019 The official trailer for the long-teased and only mildly-anticipated live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie just landed. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "5 Reasons Why the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Will Be Better Than the Internet Thinks," 30 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Amid teases of sun came torrential downpours, thunder, and even hail in parts of Massachusetts, leading to power outages, lightning strikes, and dozens of passengers stranded at Logan International Airport. Amanda Kaufman, BostonGlobe.com, "Lightning hits two homes; travelers delayed at Logan," 30 June 2019 On Monday, the movie released a teaser trailer as well as the poster, both featuring Anastasia Steele decked out in an ornate masquerade mask, a brief tease for masquerade ball in the movie's plot. Megan Friedman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Watch the First Full Trailer for Fifty Shades Darker," 13 Sep. 2016 Though Jessica Jones gets a chance to finish on its own terms, the rest of the Marvel-Netflix lineup ended on tantalizing teases. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Marvel-Netflix Universe’s Final Hero," 14 June 2019 But fans will get teases with scene previews on Monday through Wednesday and Facebook Stories throughout the week. Samantha Incorvaia, azcentral, "Scottsdale woman on 'MTV's The Real World': 'I've got to work through all the trauma'," 8 June 2019 Her character, Betty, gets on stage and performs a strip tease for the crowd celebrating FP's retirement. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Everything to Know About Lili Reinhart's New Movie "Hustlers"," 30 Apr. 2019 Don't worry, this was but a tease for the Ariana gos that was to come. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "A Guide to All the Times Pete Davidson Mentioned Ariana Grande During the 'SNL' Premiere," 30 Sep. 2018 In the lobby, a wall of windows faces the pool - a tease when guests first arrive, Dagon said. Gabrielle Russon, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Universal’s newest hotel costs less than $100 a night," 12 June 2019 Season eight likely won't go quite that far down the road, but some sort of tease about the looming Whisperer War is very much in the cards. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Walking Dead' Season 8 Finale: 7 Predictions for the End of "All-Out War"," 9 Apr. 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

18 Jul 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

Comments on tease

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