\ ˈtȯnt How to pronounce taunt (audio) , ˈtänt \
taunted; taunting; taunts

Definition of taunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to reproach or challenge in a mocking or insulting manner : jeer at



Definition of taunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sarcastic challenge or insult

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from taunt


taunter noun
tauntingly \ ˈtȯn-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce taunt (audio) , ˈtän-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for taunt

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for taunt


ridicule, deride, mock, taunt mean to make an object of laughter of. ridicule implies a deliberate often malicious belittling. consistently ridiculed everything she said deride suggests contemptuous and often bitter ridicule. derided their efforts to start their own business mock implies scorn often ironically expressed as by mimicry or sham deference. youngsters began to mock the helpless wino taunt suggests jeeringly provoking insult or challenge. hometown fans taunted the visiting team

Taunt vs. Taut


Taunt and taut may easily be confused. The words are similar in spelling and pronunciation, though the resemblance does not extent to their syntax or meanings. Taut is an adjective that is most often used to refer to something that is pulled tight, like "a taut rope," or is bulging or filled to capacity, like "taut muscles." Taunt is a noun and a verb that refers to teasing or making fun of a person. That the two words sound similar creates confusion, and taunt, being the more common word, is sometimes substituted for taut. You can remember the difference between the two by remembering that tight and taut both lack the n of taunt.

Examples of taunt in a Sentence

Verb The boys continually taunted each other.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Prime Minister Scott Morrison—who in 2017 brought a softball-size lump of coal into parliament to taunt the opposition party over its renewable energy plans—has so far refused to set tougher targets. Amy Gunia, Time, 7 Oct. 2021 As a professional courtesy or perhaps just to taunt him, Drudge goes to see Isikoff, who insults him a few different ways. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 21 Sep. 2021 If nights fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, possible on any night of the year, blossoms will drop unfertilized, leaving only their stems to taunt us with what might have been. Pam Peirce, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Sep. 2021 The record for the month of 19 is in play, so keep that in mind if any more raindrops taunt you in the days ahead. Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2021 Our fact-check sources: For the Win USA TODAY, Feb. 12, 2017, Steph Curry and Draymond Green wore cupcake shirts that OKC fans were using to taunt KD ARF! Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, 11 Feb. 2017 China has seized on the turmoil to taunt the U.S. and label it an unreliable partner. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 26 Aug. 2021 Loudspeakers installed to broadcast prayers were used to taunt U.S. forces. Claire Galofaro And Russ Bynum, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Aug. 2021 Beijing is already using the debacle to taunt Taiwan and the U.S. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Cancun taunt comes from Cruz infamously flying to Cancun while more than 4 million homes in Texas lost power during an Arctic blast in February. Matt Young, Chron, 8 Oct. 2021 Corncrib taunt visitors, who can roam two miles of leafy trails and snap selfies by a waterfall. BostonGlobe.com, 6 Sep. 2021 The National League team and players union had blasted what was first believed to be a racist taunt that was picked up by home plate microphones in the ninth inning of Colorado's 13-8 win at Coors Field on Sunday. NBC News, 9 Aug. 2021 Saturday’s Twitter taunt wasn’t the first time Trump blasted the Democratic senator. Lori Riley, courant.com, 9 Aug. 2021 Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, with its title that sounds like a Renaissance schoolyard taunt, is, by contrast, about the all-too-certain among us, the gleeful stone-throwers. Hillary Kelly, Vulture, 7 June 2021 The game will also feature a gear bundle that includes a Lion Pickaxe, Wingspan Glider and a new taunt called The Silencer. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, 12 July 2021 Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese and his players had alleged that there was a racist taunt aimed at midfielder Diego Chara. Scooby Axson, USA TODAY, 5 July 2021 For half the population, this was a familiar middle school taunt. Star Tribune, 30 June 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of taunt


1539, in the meaning defined above


circa 1527, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for taunt


perhaps from Middle French tenter to try, tempt — more at tempt

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About taunt

Time Traveler for taunt

Time Traveler

The first known use of taunt was circa 1527

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near taunt




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for taunt

Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Taunt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taunt. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for taunt



English Language Learners Definition of taunt

: to say insulting things to (someone) in order to make that person angry


\ ˈtȯnt How to pronounce taunt (audio) \

Kids Definition of taunt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a mean insulting remark


taunted; taunting

Kids Definition of taunt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make fun of or say insulting things to

More from Merriam-Webster on taunt

Nglish: Translation of taunt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of taunt for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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