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tantalize

[tan-tl-ahyz]
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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

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Antonyms

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

Related Words

decoybaitprovocationyenfancycome-onseductionattractivenessappealinducementdrawhankeringfascinationblandishmentsnarepullallurementtrapenticementinvitation

Examples from the Web for tantalization

Historical Examples

  • Rose had no idea of tantalization, or she would have held him a while in doubt.

    Shirley

    Charlotte Bront

  • That, she could imagine, would be a tantalization from which a sensitive woman might well wish to escape.

    The Precipice

    Elia Wilkinson Peattie

  • I didn't feel my finger-tips because I had the agitation, the flutter, the tantalization of looking at her.

    Romance

    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • It was their second kiss and they both thrilled from head to foot with this tantalization of the hunger of their love.

    The Free Range

    Francis William Sullivan

  • He was aware that the deferring of a climax till it could be launched on a tide of tantalization was the chiefest of them.

    The Pursuit

    Frank (Frank Mackenzie) Savile


British Dictionary definitions for tantalization

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

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 tantalization

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