[ tan-tl-ahy-zing ]
/ ˈtæn tlˌaɪ zɪŋ /


having or exhibiting something that provokes or arouses expectation, interest, or desire, especially that which remains unobtainable or beyond one's reach: a tantalizing taste of success.

Origin of tantalizing

First recorded in 1650–60; tantalize + -ing2
Related formstan·ta·liz·ing·ly, adverbun·tan·ta·liz·ing, adjective
Can be confusedtantalizing titillating

Definition for tantalizing (2 of 2)


[ tan-tl-ahyz ]
/ ˈtæn tlˌaɪz /

verb (used with object), tan·ta·lized, tan·ta·liz·ing.

to torment with, or as if with, the sight of something desired but out of reach; tease by arousing expectations that are repeatedly disappointed.
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tantalizing

British Dictionary definitions for tantalizing



/ (ˈtæntəˌlaɪz) /


(tr) to tease or make frustrated, as by tormenting with the sight of something greatly desired but inaccessible
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