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taunt1

[tawnt, tahnt] /tɔnt, tɑnt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to reproach in a sarcastic, insulting, or jeering manner; mock.
2.
to provoke by taunts; twit.
noun
3.
an insulting gibe or sarcasm; scornful reproach or challenge.
4.
Obsolete. an object of insulting gibes or scornful reproaches.
Origin of taunt1
1505-1515
1505-15; origin uncertain
Related forms
taunter, noun
tauntingly, adverb
untaunted, adjective
untaunting, adjective
untauntingly, adverb
Can be confused
taught, taunt, taut.
Synonyms
1. censure, upbraid, flout, insult. 2, 3. jeer. See ridicule. 3. scoff, derision, insult, censure, ridicule.

taunt2

[tawnt, tahnt] /tɔnt, tɑnt/
adjective, Nautical.
1.
tall, as a mast.
Origin
1490-1500; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for taunt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You spoke it in the way of a taunt, and as if the Department justified them and condemned me.

  • It might be a matter of property, or perhaps it was some taunt as to his own personal courage.

    The Story of the Outlaw Emerson Hough
  • He wrote us he had it, just to taunt us, and we've got to burn that up whether we find the girl or not.

    The Sky Line of Spruce Edison Marshall
  • taunt on, sir; I spared you when you were unarmed—I am unarmed now.

    The Lady of Lyons Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • I never heard a speaker or actor who could give such a sting to hauteur or the taunt.

    Complete Prose Works Walt Whitman
British Dictionary definitions for taunt

taunt1

/tɔːnt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to provoke or deride with mockery, contempt, or criticism
2.
to tease; tantalize
noun
3.
a jeering remark
4.
(archaic) the object of mockery
Derived Forms
taunter, noun
taunting, adjective
tauntingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from French phrase tant pour tant like for like, rejoinder

taunt2

/tɔːnt/
adjective
1.
(nautical) (of the mast or masts of a sailing vessel) unusually tall
Word Origin
C15: of uncertain origin
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 taunt
v.

1510s, possibly from Middle French tanter, tenter "to tempt, try, provoke," variant of tempter "to try" (see tempt). Or from Middle French tant pour tant "so much for so much, tit for tat," on notion of "sarcastic rejoinder." Related: Taunted; taunting.

n.

1520s, from taunt (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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