Thesaurus

tease

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of tease

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a person who causes repeated emotional pain, distress, or annoyance to another
  • she can be a very cruel tease when she happens upon an unpopular girl who is easily hurt

Synonyms for tease

Words Related to tease

Near Antonyms for tease

2 one who is obnoxiously annoying
  • my youngest brother is a complete tease, following me around everywhere and aping my every move

Synonyms for tease

Words Related to tease

Phrases Synonymous with tease

Near Antonyms for tease

tease

verb

Synonyms of tease (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to make fun of in a good-natured way
  • likes to tease her twin brother about his seemingly endless string of girlfriends

Synonyms for tease

Words Related to tease

Phrases Synonymous with tease

2 to attack repeatedly with mean put-downs or insults
  • grew up being teased because his parents were hog farmers

Synonyms for tease

Words Related to tease

Phrases Synonymous with tease

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About tease

How does the verb tease contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of tease are annoy, harass, harry, pester, plague, and worry. While all these words mean "to disturb or irritate by persistent acts," tease suggests an attempt to break down one's resistance or rouse to wrath.

children teased the dog

In what contexts can annoy take the place of tease?

While in some cases nearly identical to tease, annoy implies disturbing one's composure or peace of mind by intrusion, interference, or petty attacks.

you're doing that just to annoy me

When would harass be a good substitute for tease?

In some situations, the words harass and tease are roughly equivalent. However, harass implies petty persecutions or burdensome demands that exhaust one's nervous or mental power.

harassed on all sides by creditors

When can harry be used instead of tease?

Although the words harry and tease have much in common, harry may imply heavy oppression or maltreatment.

the strikers had been harried by thugs

Where would pester be a reasonable alternative to tease?

The synonyms pester and tease are sometimes interchangeable, but pester stresses the repetition of petty attacks.

constantly pestered with trivial complaints

When might plague be a better fit than tease?

The words plague and tease can be used in similar contexts, but plague implies a painful and persistent affliction.

plagued all her life by poverty

When is it sensible to use worry instead of tease?

The words worry and tease are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, worry implies an incessant goading or attacking that drives one to desperation.

pursued a policy of worrying the enemy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tease

Time Traveler for tease

Time Traveler

The first known use of tease was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Tease.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/tease. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tease

Dictionary: Definition of tease

Medical Dictionary: Definition of tease

Nglish: Translation of tease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tease for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tease

What made you want to look up tease? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!