[ teez ]
See synonyms for: teaseteasedteasing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),teased, teas·ing.
  1. to irritate or provoke with persistent petty distractions, trifling jests, or other annoyances, often in a playful way: If your little sister is teasing you about your boyfriend and following you around making kissy faces, it’s because she’s jealous and wants your attention.

  2. to bully, harass, or torment: I was teased about my lisp when I was younger.New animals are kept isolated when they first arrive at the sanctuary to prevent the established pack from teasing or frightening them.

  1. to purposely excite or sexually arouse (someone) without subsequent gratification: Don’t tease me with vacation ideas you know we can’t afford!She teased her fiancé with a sexy little dance even though she knew they couldn’t go all the way with a house full of guests.

  2. to pull apart or separate the adhering fibers of (wool or the like), as in combing or carding; comb or card, as wool; shred.

  3. to ruffle (the hair) by holding it at the ends and combing toward the scalp so as to give body to a hairdo.

  4. to raise a nap on (cloth) with teasels; teasel.

  5. to introduce (a new product) without revealing details about it, conveying only that the product exists and will be available at a future date: Both developers teased next generation game consoles at the expo, but neither released specs.

verb (used without object),teased, teas·ing.
  1. to provoke, disturb, torment, or bully a person or animal with persistent annoyances or harassment.

  1. a person who teases or annoys.

  2. a person who purposely excites or sexually arouses another, but then withholds gratification: The weatherman needs to stop being such a tease with these predicted snow days.All I did was set some sexual boundaries, but now he's spreading rumors that I'm a tease.

  1. the act of teasing or the state of being teased.

  2. Television. teaser (def. 3a).

Verb Phrases
  1. tease out, to discover, understand, or disentangle (complex, interconnected, or hidden information): Only recently have scientists teased out a causal link between sleep loss and mood disorders, like anxiety.

Origin of tease

First recorded before 1000; Middle English verb tese(n), teise, Old English tǣsan “to pull, tear, comb”; cognate with Middle Low German tesen, Old High German zeisan “to pluck”; the noun is derivative of the verb

synonym study For tease

1. See bother.

Other words for tease

Opposites for tease

Other words from tease

  • teas·a·ble, adjective
  • teas·a·ble·ness, noun
  • out·tease, verb (used with object), out·teased, out·teas·ing.
  • un·teased, adjective

Words Nearby tease

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use tease in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for tease


/ (tiːz) /

  1. to annoy (someone) by deliberately offering something with the intention of delaying or withdrawing the offer

  2. to arouse sexual desire in (someone) with no intention of satisfying it

  1. to vex (someone) maliciously or playfully, esp by ridicule

  2. (tr) to separate the fibres of; comb; card

  3. (tr) to raise the nap of (a fabric) with a teasel

  4. Also: backcomb US and Canadian to comb the under layers of (the hair) towards the roots to give more bulk to a hairstyle

  5. (tr) to loosen or pull apart (biological tissues, etc) by delicate agitation or prodding with an instrument

  1. a person or thing that teases

  2. the act of teasing

Origin of tease

Old English tǣsan; related to Old High German zeisan to pick

Derived forms of tease

  • teasing, adjective
  • teasingly, adverb

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