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 Okay, one last bit of Halloween-adjacent news: Red Barrels, developer of Outlast, used the day to tease its next project. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Look at this Terminator-themed Xbox One X and its ominous red eye," 1 Nov. 2019 After the dance was finished, Kate took a moment to introduce her husband to the dancers—and to tease him about his dancing (or lack thereof). Kayleigh Roberts, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Playfully Trolled Prince William's Dancing During Their Tour of Pakistan," 17 Oct. 2019 After teasing it for several days on social media, Kylie Cosmetics has launched an Ulta-exclusive holiday collection for anyone who's ready to start doing their gift shopping — or anyone who just wants to treat themselves to some new makeup. Marci Robin, Allure, "Kylie Cosmetics Just Dropped an Exclusive Holiday Collection at Ulta," 13 Oct. 2019 Over the weekend, Yang teased another big debate announcement, which is likely to be an attempt to help generate more earned media coverage while impeachment continues to chew up the minutes on every news program. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Sunday Trail Markers: What to watch for in the Democratic debate this week," 13 Oct. 2019 Young Erebon often got into fights, raging at the children who teased him. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘How will we cover up this shame?’: The priest and the girl," 9 Oct. 2019 Mother Nature has been teasing us this year, but Coloradans eagerly awaiting the onset of fall color changes in the high country may not have too much longer to wait for the show. John Meyer, The Know, "Fall color changes are about to begin. Here’s where to go leaf peeping in Colorado.," 19 Sep. 2019 But his foray into fast casual service provided him a moment his staff still teases him about eight years later. Fortune, "Why the Most Successful Chefs and Restaurateurs Are Thankful for Their Failures," 14 Sep. 2019 Fritz buys into the myth of male genius, but his family teases him and prods him out of it. Lily Meyer, The Atlantic, "Rewriting the ‘Boy Genius’," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The throws to Sanu and Watson were particularly notable, hitting both players in stride, like a tease of what still could come from two players who are still acclimating to the offense. BostonGlobe.com, "And early on, this game was following that Patriot script.," 28 Oct. 2019 After a successful tease of an H&M x Giambattista pre-drop collection, the two powerhouses are back with the main release. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Giambattista Valli And H&M Are Dropping A Capsule Collection," 18 Oct. 2019 But the bad-luck story is becoming all too familiar for Henson, who remains the ultimate tease. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "John Henson continues to tease Cleveland Cavaliers with potential, dampen hopes with injuries," 18 Oct. 2019 For 14 precious minutes, the college football world got quite the tease on Saturday. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "The Rundown: Clemson's UNC Scare Paves Way for Shake-Up in Top 10," 28 Sep. 2019 But the back-of-the-book tease for this work declared otherwise: For brooding tech billionaire Massimo Brunetti, a cyberattack on his company is unacceptable. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Penetration testing takes on new meaning when cyber meets Harlequin," 5 July 2019 The candidate joined in on the tease on social media. Dareh Gregorian, NBC News, "What is Andrew Yang's 'big' Democratic debate surprise?," 11 Sep. 2019 The tease of the next Marvel movie paled in comparison to Johansson's other big reveal: an 11-carat diamond engagement ring—which experts estimate could be worth approximately $400,000. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Scarlett Johansson's Engagement Ring Is One of The Chicest We've Ever Seen," 24 July 2019 For every tease the Sox turned a corner, there was always another wall to crash into. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Moments to savor for Red Sox have been precious and few," 7 Sep. 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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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

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Tease.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teasingly?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=t&file=tease002. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on tease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tease

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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