Definition of


  1. (noun, act) the act of harassing someone playfully or maliciously (especially by ridicule); provoking someone with persistent annoyances
    his ribbing was gentle but persistent
  2. (noun, person) a seductive woman who uses her sex appeal to exploit men
  3. (noun, person) someone given to teasing (as by mocking or stirring curiosity)
  4. (verb, body) ruffle (one's hair) by combing the ends towards the scalp, for a full effect
  5. (verb, communication) harass with persistent criticism or carping
    Don't ride me so hard over my failure
    His fellow workers razzed him when he wore a jacket and tie
  6. (verb, communication) mock or make fun of playfully
  7. (verb, contact) separate the fibers of
  8. (verb, contact) disentangle and raise the fibers of
  9. (verb, contact) raise the nap of (fabrics)
  10. (verb, contact) tear into pieces
  11. (verb, emotion) annoy persistently
  12. (verb, emotion) to arouse hope, desire, or curiosity without satisfying them
    She has a way of teasing men with her flirtatious behavior

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Tease

  1. O.E. t?san "pluck, pull apart" (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from W.Gmc. *taisijanan (cf. Dan. t?se, M.Du. tesen, Du. tezen "to draw, pull, scratch," O.H.G. zeisan "to tease, pick wool"). The original sense is of running thorns through wool or flax to separate, shred, or card the fibers. The figurative sense of "vex, worry, annoy" emerg… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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