1

tickle

play
verb tick·le \ ˈti-kəl \

Definition of tickle

tickled; tickling play \-k(ə-)liŋ\
transitive verb
1 :to touch (a body part, a person, etc.) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness, laughter, or spasmodic movements
2 a :to excite or stir up agreeably :please
  • music … does more than tickle our sense of rhythm
  • —Edward Sapir
b :to provoke to laughter or merriment :amuse
  • were tickled by the clown's antics
3 :to touch or stir gently
  • a pianist tickling the ivories
intransitive verb
1 :to have a tingling or prickling sensation
  • my back tickles
2 :to excite the surface nerves to prickle

Examples of tickle in a Sentence

  1. Her little brother screamed with laughter as she tickled him.

  2. The tag on the sweater tickled his neck.

  3. My nose started to tickle.

  4. Don't touch me there; it tickles.

  5. We were tickled by the invitation.

  6. The idea of going to the party tickled her.

Recent Examples of tickle from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tickle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of tickle

Middle English tikelen; akin to Old English tinclian to tickle


2

tickle

noun

Definition of tickle

1 :the act of tickling
2 :a tickling sensation
3 :something that tickles

Recent Examples of tickle from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tickle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tickle

1801



TICKLE Defined for English Language Learners

tickle

play
verb

Definition of tickle for English Language Learners

  • : to try to make (someone) laugh by lightly touching a very sensitive part of the body with your fingers, a feather, etc.

  • : to have or cause a slightly uncomfortable feeling on a part of your body

  • : to please or amuse (someone or something)


TICKLE Defined for Kids

1

tickle

play
verb tick·le \ ˈti-kəl \

Definition of tickle for Students

tickled; tickling
1 :to have a tingling or prickling sensation
  • My nose tickles.
2 :to touch (a body part) lightly so as to cause laughter or jerky movements
  • I tickled the baby's feet.
3 :to excite or stir up agreeably
  • This food tickles my taste buds.
4 :amuse 2
  • … Avery was tickled to find himself so wet …
  • —E. B. White, Charlotte's Web.

2

tickle

noun

Definition of tickle for Students

:a tingling or prickling sensation

Medical Dictionary

1

tickle

play
verb tick·le \ ˈtik-əl \

medical Definition of tickle

tickled; tickling play \-(ə-)liŋ\
intransitive verb
1 :to have a tingling or prickling sensation
  • my back tickles
2 :to excite the surface nerves to prickle
transitive verb
:to touch (as a body part) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness, laughter, or spasmodic movements

2

tickle

noun

medical Definition of tickle

1 :the act of tickling
2 :a tickling sensation
  • a cough is a reflex to a tickle in the throat
  • —Karl Menninger
3 :something that tickles


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