• synonyms


[tawnt, tahnt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to reproach in a sarcastic, insulting, or jeering manner; mock.
  2. to provoke by taunts; twit.
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  1. an insulting gibe or sarcasm; scornful reproach or challenge.
  2. Obsolete. an object of insulting gibes or scornful reproaches.
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Origin of taunt1

First recorded in 1505–15; origin uncertain
Related formstaunt·er, nountaunt·ing·ly, adverbun·taunt·ed, adjectiveun·taunt·ing, adjectiveun·taunt·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedtaught taunt taut


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1. censure, upbraid, flout, insult. 2, 3. jeer. See ridicule. 3. scoff, derision, insult, censure, ridicule.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for taunted

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I could not bear to be taunted with all the remembrances of the past.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • "Got you that time, Earth dog," the invisible Mercutian taunted.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • When she did come round a bit, she taunted me that I had sold my clothes for drink.

    Adventures and Recollections

    Bill o'th' Hoylus End

  • "You taunted me with being a woman," she said through a fresh burst of tears.

  • He didn't forget that either, for he seems to have taunted her with her poverty.

British Dictionary definitions for taunted


verb (tr)
  1. to provoke or deride with mockery, contempt, or criticism
  2. to tease; tantalize
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  1. a jeering remark
  2. archaic the object of mockery
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Derived Formstaunter, nountaunting, adjectivetauntingly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from French phrase tant pour tant like for like, rejoinder


  1. nautical (of the mast or masts of a sailing vessel) unusually tall
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Word Origin

C15: of uncertain origin
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 taunted



1520s, from taunt (v.).

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1510s, possibly from Middle French tanter, tenter "to tempt, try, provoke," variant of tempter "to try" (see tempt). Or from Middle French tant pour tant "so much for so much, tit for tat," on notion of "sarcastic rejoinder." Related: Taunted; taunting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper