- to torment with, or as if with, the sight of something desired but out of reach; tease by arousing expectations that are repeatedly disappointed.
Origin of tantalize
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tantalised
Dale's curiosity was so strong, that Hugh saw how dangerous it was to have tantalised it.The Crofton Boys
On Sunday they were tantalised with the hope of immediate succour.Our Sailors
Catherine tantalised them by withholding from them their prey.Tongues of Conscience
Robert Smythe Hichens
This will, or at least may, induce him to snap: just as it would provoke a dog to do, if tantalised.Riding for Ladies
Mrs. Power O'Donoghue
Your account of the London Institution has delighted and tantalised me.The Royal Institution
- (tr) to tease or make frustrated, as by tormenting with the sight of something greatly desired but inaccessible
Word Origin and History for tantalised
1590s, from Latin Tantalus, from Greek Tantalos, king of Phrygia, son of Zeus, punished in the afterlife (for an offense variously given) by being made to stand in a river up to his chin, under branches laden with fruit, all of which withdrew from his reach whenever he tried to eat or drink. His story was known to Chaucer (c.1369).