tit·​il·​late | \ˈti-tə-ˌlāt \
titillated; titillating

Definition of titillate 

transitive verb

1 : to excite pleasurably : arouse by stimulation

intransitive verb

: to act as a stimulant to pleasurable excitement

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Other Words from titillate

titillation \ ˌti-​tə-​ˈlā-​shən \ noun
titillative \ ˈti-​tə-​ˌlā-​tiv \ adjective

Examples of titillate in a Sentence

a film made to titillate the audience writing that titillates and provokes

Recent Examples on the Web

Thousands gathered at Inferno Fest June 27 in Highwood’s Everts Park in search of new ways to titillate their taste buds and savor new spicy creations. Gina Grillo, chicagotribune.com, "Highwood's Inferno Fest celebrates all things spicy," 3 July 2018 On Snapchat, that initiative led to sensational headlines and titillating thumbnails. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Instagram announces IGTV, a standalone app for longer videos," 20 June 2018 Maintaining multiple story lines — spinning many plates without ever losing control — is a strategy Fellowes has used to titillating effect on Downton Abbey. Catherine Ostler, Town & Country, "The Creator of Downton Abbey Writes a Show About the Titanic," 1 Apr. 2012 Last year the team hired noted photographer and experimental filmmaker Richard Kern to make a typically titillating video. Randall Roberts, latimes.com, "Unraveling the mystery behind L.A.'s striking music duo Collapsing Scenery," 25 May 2018 Certain scenes in certain plays were designed to titillate what was probably a largely male audience; in the seventeenth century they were often translated from the Italian to be sold in London bookshops. Longreads, "The Roaring Girls of Queer London," 8 May 2018 The initial taste is almost titillating, but smooth. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Live coverage at Summerfest 2017," 28 June 2017 As with Cohn before him, the more outrageously and reprehensibly Trump behaved, the more the top rungs of society were titillated by him. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "The Original Donald Trump," 29 Apr. 2018 When Schlegels and Wilcoxes meet, each family finds the other alienating and titillating in equal measure. Constance Grady, Vox, "Howards End is a strangely timely adaptation of E.M. Forster’s “picture of liberal guilt”," 15 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of titillate

1620, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for titillate

Latin titillatus, past participle of titillare

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Time Traveler for titillate

The first known use of titillate was in 1620

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English Language Learners Definition of titillate

: to interest or excite (someone) in an enjoyable and often sexual way

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full of whispering sounds

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