- to irritate or provoke with persistent petty distractions, trifling raillery, or other annoyance, often in sport.
- to pull apart or separate the adhering fibers of (wool or the like), as in combing or carding; comb or card, as wool; shred.
- to ruffle (the hair) by holding it at the ends and combing toward the scalp so as to give body to a hairdo.
- to raise a nap on (cloth) with teasels; teasel.
- Also teaser. Television Slang. a short scene or highlight shown at the beginning of a film or television show to attract the audience's attention.
- to provoke or disturb a person or animal by importunity or persistent petty annoyances.
- a person who teases or annoys.
- the act of teasing or the state of being teased.
Origin of tease
Synonyms for tease
Antonyms for tease
- to annoy (someone) by deliberately offering something with the intention of delaying or withdrawing the offer
- to arouse sexual desire in (someone) with no intention of satisfying it
- to vex (someone) maliciously or playfully, esp by ridicule
- (tr) to separate the fibres of; comb; card
- (tr) to raise the nap of (a fabric) with a teasel
- Also: backcomb US and Canadian to comb the under layers of (the hair) towards the roots to give more bulk to a hairstyle
- (tr) to loosen or pull apart (biological tissues, etc) by delicate agitation or prodding with an instrument
- a person or thing that teases
- the act of teasing
Word Origin for tease
"one who teases," 1852, from tease (v.). Specifically as short for cock-teaser, it was in use by 1976.
Old English tæsan "pluck, pull apart" (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from West Germanic *taisijanan (cf. Danish tæse, Middle Dutch tesen, Dutch tezen "to draw, pull, scratch," Old High German zeisan "to tease, pick wool").
The original sense is of running thorns through wool or flax to separate, shred, or card the fibers. The figurative sense of "vex, worry, annoy" emerged 1610s. For similar sense development, see heckle. Hairdressing sense is recorded from 1957.
- To separate the structural parts of a tissue, as with a needle, in order to prepare it for microscopic examination.