tit·​il·​late ˈti-tə-ˌlāt How to pronounce titillate (audio)
titillated; titillating

transitive verb

: to excite pleasurably : arouse by stimulation

intransitive verb

: to act as a stimulant to pleasurable excitement
titillation noun
titillative adjective

Example Sentences

a film made to titillate the audience writing that titillates and provokes
Recent Examples on the Web Set with the stoic grandeur of the library walls, a Philip Glass score and little else, Mr. Jacobs delivered an undiluted fashion experience designed to titillate the purists. Jessica Iredale, New York Times, 28 June 2022 The action swarms and surges, but it’s not intended to titillate. Washington Post, 27 July 2022 Yet the Chautauqua’s Methodist directors occasionally pushed the envelope of decorum to titillate campers. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 10 July 2022 The defense argued that the prosecution was merely trying to titillate jurors with a celebrity. Ken Auletta, The New Yorker, 30 May 2022 She may be best understood as the spiritual successor to Elvis, another poor white Southerner who made good, another entertainer with moves meant to titillate. Sascha Cohen, Longreads, 20 May 2021 Thomas shoots herself, the Beauties had an original context and purpose, which was to titillate largely male consumers. New York Times, 13 Oct. 2021 Think for a moment about the fears and threats that titillate Americans. Robert Pearl, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Ducournau—whose previous film, the 2016 Raw, detailed the exploits of a cannibalistic veterinary student—works hard to titillate us in the movie’s first hour or so, spreading out a buffet of gruesome, deadpan violence for our delectation. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 1 Oct. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Latin titillatus, past participle of titillare

First Known Use

1620, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of titillate was in 1620

Dictionary Entries Near titillate

Cite this Entry

“Titillate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/titillate. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


tit·​il·​late ˈtit-ᵊl-ˌāt How to pronounce titillate (audio)
titillated; titillating
: to excite pleasurably
titillation noun

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