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[tik-uh l] /ˈtɪk əl/
verb (used with object), tickled, tickling.
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.
verb (used without object), tickled, tickling.
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
1300-50; Middle English tikelen, frequentative of tick1 (in obsolete sense) to touch lightly
Related forms
untickled, adjective
4. amuse, please, delight, enchant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tickled pink
Historical Examples
  • McGee was tickled pink by his timely arrival, but it was not all a matter of rejoicing.

    Aces Up Covington Clarke
  • "Norman Cox and Eustice Gray and the others are tickled pink with the $25," he confided.

    Rosemary Josephine Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for tickled pink


to touch, stroke, or poke (a person, part of the body, etc) so as to produce pleasure, laughter, or a twitching sensation
(transitive) to excite pleasurably; gratify
(transitive) to delight or entertain (often in the phrase tickle one's fancy)
(intransitive) to itch or tingle
(transitive) to catch (a fish, esp a trout) by grasping it with the hands and gently moving the fingers into its gills
(informal) tickle pink, tickle to death, to please greatly: he 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
Derived Forms
tickly, adjective
Word Origin
C14: related to Old English tinclian, Old High German kizziton, Old Norse kitla, Latin titillāre to titillate
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 tickled pink



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tickled pink

tickled to death

adjective phrase

Very much pleased; happy as can be: They were tickled to death with the suggestion/ I am tickled pink to have been asked (entry form 1834+, variant 1922+)


Related Terms

slap and tickle

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with tickled pink

tickled pink

Also,tickled to death. Delighted, as in I was tickled pink when I got his autograph, or His parents were tickled to death when he decided to marry her. The first term, first recorded in 1922, alludes to one's face turning pink with laughter when one is being tickled. The variant, clearly a hyperbole, dates from about 1800.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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