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90s Slang You Should Know


[tan-tl-ahyz] /ˈtæn tlˌaɪz/
verb (used with object), tantalized, tantalizing.
to torment with, or as if with, the sight of something desired but out of reach; tease by arousing expectations that are repeatedly disappointed.
Also, especially British, tantalise.
Origin of tantalize
First recorded in 1590-1600; Tantal(us) + -ize
Related forms
tantalization, noun
tantalizer, noun
untantalized, adjective
provoke, taunt, tempt; frustrate.
satisfy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tantalized
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The minutes dragged, and to the hungry scouts it seemed as though the two partridges had tantalized them long enough.

  • This had tantalized Reginald more than he chose to avow, even to himself.

    Phoebe, Junior Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
  • The rebels no longer jeered at and tantalized our boys with inquiries as to when they proposed to start for 'Pine Forest Prison.'

  • For a few moments the captives had been tantalized with a hope of release.

  • One little pill aint much when you take in how shes been tantalized.

  • Tell me, Cary—tell me out of pity; I am too weak to be tantalized.

    Shirley Charlotte Bront
  • No wonder that the effect of the refreshing beverage of yesterday was soon gone, and that I began to be tantalized anew by thirst.

  • It was the girl who had tantalized him while they had been sitting on the rock.

    The Ranchman Charles Alden Seltzer
  • He is not tantalized by the idea that from this or that point he could see something still finer, if he could but reach it.

    How to Observe Harriet Martineau
British Dictionary definitions for tantalized


(transitive) to tease or make frustrated, as by tormenting with the sight of something greatly desired but inaccessible
Derived Forms
tantalization, tantalisation, noun
tantalizer, tantaliser, noun
tantalizing, tantalising, adjective
tantalizingly, tantalisingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from the punishment of Tantalus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tantalized



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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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