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[tit-l-ey-ting] /ˈtɪt lˌeɪ tɪŋ/
arousing or exciting in an agreeable, often sexual way:
titillating gossip.
Related forms
titillatingly, adverb
untitillating, adjective


[tit-l-eyt] /ˈtɪt lˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), titillated, titillating.
to excite or arouse agreeably:
to titillate the fancy.
Synonyms: rouse, tempt, tease.
to tickle; excite a tingling or itching sensation in, as by touching or stroking lightly.
Origin of titillate
1610-20; < Latin tītillātus, past participle of tītillāre to tickle; see -ate1
Related forms
titillation, noun
titillative, adjective
untitillated, adjective
untitillating, adjective
Can be confused
tantalizing, titillating.
titillate, titivate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for titillating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You may curse in five languages: it is music to their titillating ears.

    Our Southern Highlanders Horace Kephart
  • Hers was actually the titillating wonder of a bird which, captured, closes its wings, that surrender can be so sweet.

    Americans All Various
  • This woman is doubtless miserable, though after all, perhaps, the titillating joys of glory are not unknown to her.

  • These ancient snuff-boxes furnish proof of the love of our ancestors for the titillating powder.

    Ten Thousand Wonderful Things Edmund Fillingham King
  • These were "bloods," tremendous swells, grown men with a titillating flavour of the world about their distinguished persons.

    The Hill Horace Annesley Vachell
British Dictionary definitions for titillating


verb (transitive)
to arouse, tease, interest, or excite pleasurably and often superficially
to cause a tickling or tingling sensation in, esp by touching
Derived Forms
titillating, adjective
titillatingly, adverb
titillation, noun
titillative, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin tītillāre
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 titillating



1610s, back-formation from titillation. Related: Titillated; titillating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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