- to touch or stroke lightly with the fingers, a feather, etc., so as to excite a tingling or itching sensation in; titillate.
- to poke some sensitive part of the body so as to excite spasmodic laughter.
- to excite agreeably; gratify: to tickle someone's vanity.
- to excite amusement in: The clown's antics really tickled the kids.
- to get, move, etc., by or as by tickling: She tickled him into saying yes.
- to be affected with a tingling or itching sensation, as from light touches or strokes: I tickle all over.
- to produce such a sensation.
- an act or instance of tickling.
- a tickling sensation.
- tickled pink, Informal. greatly pleased: She was tickled pink that someone had remembered her birthday.
Origin of tickle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tickle
Best Moment: When Galifianakis attempts to make Cera tickle his thigh (with disappointing results).Justin Bieber, Jon Hamm & the Best of 'Between Two Ferns' (VIDEO)
September 26, 2013
Guys, it distinctly says “tickle me” Elmo, not “hand-to-hand combat over me” Elmo.Eight Biggest Elmo Scandals: Kevin Clash, Katy Perry & More (VIDEO)
November 14, 2012
And like a tickle in the throat before a cough or the awful urge to sneeze, it comes: the morbid desire to stare at the shame.GOP Primaries Provide a Feast for Our Schadenfreude Appetite
Eric G. Wilson
January 19, 2012
The interview ends in a dance party giggle-fit of “Tickle Me Elmo” proportions.Elmo's True Hollywood Story
October 21, 2011
Because we have all felt that little tug, tickle, or impulse to be antiseptically and impersonally naughty?The Anthony Weiner Scandal: C’mon, America, Nobody’s Perfect
June 11, 2011
At night he would rub his unshaven cheek on Sue's small cheek and tickle her.The Harbor
There is nothing I am fonder of—— Sometimes I tickle the soles of my feet with it.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
Sometimes she'd sit down to tickle her neck with her hind-feet.Creatures of the Night
Alfred W. Rees
A “tickle” is a narrow passage of water between two islands.
Jimmie had brought her through the tickle without knowing it.
- to touch, stroke, or poke (a person, part of the body, etc) so as to produce pleasure, laughter, or a twitching sensation
- (tr) to excite pleasurably; gratify
- (tr) to delight or entertain (often in the phrase tickle one's fancy)
- (intr) to itch or tingle
- (tr) to catch (a fish, esp a trout) by grasping it with the hands and gently moving the fingers into its gills
- tickle pink or tickle to death informal to please greatlyhe was tickled pink to be elected president
- a sensation of light stroking or itching
- the act of tickling
- Canadian (in the Atlantic Provinces) a narrow strait
Word Origin and History for tickle
early 14c. (intransitive) "to be thrilled or tingling," of uncertain origin, possibly a frequentative form of tick (2) in its older sense of "to touch." The Old English form was tinclian. Some suggest a metathesis of kittle (Middle English kytyllen), from Dutch kietelen, from a common North Sea Germanic word for "to tickle" (cf. Old Norse kitla, Old High German kizzilon, German kitzeln).
Meaning "to excite agreeably" (late 14c.) is a translation of Latin titillare. Meaning "to touch lightly so as to cause a peculiar and uneasy sensation" is recorded from late 14c.; that of "to poke or touch so as to excite laughter" is from early 15c.; figurative sense of "to excite, amuse" is attested from 1680s. Related: Tickled; tickling. The noun is recorded from 1801.