- to irritate or provoke with persistent petty distractions, trifling raillery, or other annoyance, often in sport.
- to pull apart or separate the adhering fibers of (wool or the like), as in combing or carding; comb or card, as wool; shred.
- to ruffle (the hair) by holding it at the ends and combing toward the scalp so as to give body to a hairdo.
- to raise a nap on (cloth) with teasels; teasel.
- Also teaser. Television Slang. a short scene or highlight shown at the beginning of a film or television show to attract the audience's attention.
- to provoke or disturb a person or animal by importunity or persistent petty annoyances.
- a person who teases or annoys.
- the act of teasing or the state of being teased.
Origin of tease
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tease
He proceeds to tease me, asking if our interview is “secretly a date?”My Bizarre Night With James Deen, Libertarian Porn Star
November 12, 2014
The sexual acts are mysterious, unpredictable, and passionate; they tease your senses.What Porn Stars Find Sexy on TV: From ‘Game of Thrones’ to ‘Deadliest Catch’
September 20, 2014
We were about to go to sleep, but I decided to tease him about his weird habit of having the pillow a certain way on the bed.I Was Pregnant When He Hit Me. Here's #WhyIStayed.
September 10, 2014
Journalism assumes an immutable truth, that a few more calls, a bit more reporting will tease it out of reluctant informants.We Interrupt This Broadcast: How a TV Producer Learned to Write Fiction
September 9, 2014
Harry appeared to tease his blond friend after the wardrobe malfunction was spotted.Butt-Flashing? Don't Worry, My Sister-in-Law Kate Middleton Does That All The Time!!
June 2, 2014
Hubertine shrugged her shoulders, and concluded the best thing for her to do was to tease her.
"Be careful, my dear," said Hubertine, continuing to tease her.
The other boys did attempt it, however, simply to tease and annoy the fiery Corsican.The Boy Life of Napoleon
You must not tease Mr. Maltravers so; Mr. Maltravers has too much to do to come to us.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
Then, with infinite patience, you may be able to tease the flame.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
- to annoy (someone) by deliberately offering something with the intention of delaying or withdrawing the offer
- to arouse sexual desire in (someone) with no intention of satisfying it
- to vex (someone) maliciously or playfully, esp by ridicule
- (tr) to separate the fibres of; comb; card
- (tr) to raise the nap of (a fabric) with a teasel
- Also: backcomb US and Canadian to comb the under layers of (the hair) towards the roots to give more bulk to a hairstyle
- (tr) to loosen or pull apart (biological tissues, etc) by delicate agitation or prodding with an instrument
- a person or thing that teases
- the act of teasing
Word Origin and History for tease
Old English tæsan "pluck, pull apart" (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from West Germanic *taisijanan (cf. Danish tæse, Middle Dutch tesen, Dutch tezen "to draw, pull, scratch," Old High German 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" emerged 1610s. For similar sense development, see heckle. Hairdressing sense is recorded from 1957.
"one who teases," 1852, from tease (v.). Specifically as short for cock-teaser, it was in use by 1976.
- To separate the structural parts of a tissue, as with a needle, in order to prepare it for microscopic examination.