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tantalize

[tan-tl-ahyz]
verb (used with object), tan·ta·lized, tan·ta·liz·ing.
  1. to torment with, or as if with, the sight of something desired but out of reach; tease by arousing expectations that are repeatedly disappointed.
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Also especially British, tan·ta·lise.

Origin of tantalize

First recorded in 1590–1600; Tantal(us) + -ize
Related formstan·ta·li·za·tion, nountan·ta·liz·er, nounun·tan·ta·lized, adjective

Synonyms for tantalize

Antonyms for tantalize

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tantalising

Historical Examples of tantalising

  • Finally it attained the proportions of a mocking, tantalising demon.

    The Gaunt Gray Wolf

    Dillon Wallace

  • It was tantalising to get no more than hints into a character that interested me so much.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • How tantalising it was to the thirsty throats of those who watched it!

  • It was tantalising to see them feeding so quietly just out of my reach.

    Adventures in Africa

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • It was tantalising to watch them and not to be able to get hold of any.

    Peter the Whaler

    W.H.G. Kingston


British Dictionary definitions for tantalising

tantalize

tantalise

verb
  1. (tr) to tease or make frustrated, as by tormenting with the sight of something greatly desired but inaccessible
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Derived Formstantalization or tantalisation, nountantalizer or tantaliser, nountantalizing or tantalising, adjectivetantalizingly or tantalisingly, adverb

Word Origin for tantalize

C16: from the punishment of Tantalus
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

Word Origin and History for tantalising

tantalize

v.

1590s, from Latin Tantalus, from Greek Tantalos, king of Phrygia, son of Zeus, punished in the afterlife (for an offense variously given) by being made to stand in a river up to his chin, under branches laden with fruit, all of which withdrew from his reach whenever he tried to eat or drink. His story was known to Chaucer (c.1369).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper