- 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 tantalization
Rose had no idea of tantalization, or she would have held him a while in doubt.Shirley
That, she could imagine, would be a tantalization from which a sensitive woman might well wish to escape.The Precipice
Elia Wilkinson Peattie
I didn't feel my finger-tips because I had the agitation, the flutter, the tantalization of looking at her.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
It was their second kiss and they both thrilled from head to foot with this tantalization of the hunger of their love.The Free Range
Francis William Sullivan
He was aware that the deferring of a climax till it could be launched on a tide of tantalization was the chiefest of them.The Pursuit
Frank (Frank Mackenzie) Savile
- (tr) to tease or make frustrated, as by tormenting with the sight of something greatly desired but inaccessible
Word Origin and History for tantalization
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).