[tawnt, tahnt]

verb (used with object)

to reproach in a sarcastic, insulting, or jeering manner; mock.
to provoke by taunts; twit.


an insulting gibe or sarcasm; scornful reproach or challenge.
Obsolete. an object of insulting gibes or scornful reproaches.

Origin of taunt

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

Synonyms for taunt

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for tauntingly

Historical Examples of tauntingly

  • "That's your sweet old employer," his wife cried, tauntingly.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • "How tauntingly he says it now," said Kate, while her eyes sparkled brilliantly.

    The O'Donoghue

    Charles James Lever

  • "You know how to do it very well, Gerald," she tauntingly returned.

    The Masked Bridal

    Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

  • "It took you a long time to go upon your errand," he replied, tauntingly.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • "Well, you are not sociable at all," laughed the lad in advance, tauntingly.

    Frank Merriwell's Races

    Burt L. Standish

British Dictionary definitions for tauntingly



verb (tr)

to provoke or deride with mockery, contempt, or criticism
to tease; tantalize


a jeering remark
archaic the object of mockery
Derived Formstaunter, nountaunting, adjectivetauntingly, adverb

Word Origin for taunt

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




nautical (of the mast or masts of a sailing vessel) unusually tall

Word Origin for taunt

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 tauntingly



1520s, from taunt (v.).



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper