- to touch or stroke lightly with the fingers, a feather, etc., so as to excite a tingling or itching sensation in; titillate.
- to poke some sensitive part of the body so as to excite spasmodic laughter.
- to excite agreeably; gratify: to tickle someone's vanity.
- to excite amusement in: The clown's antics really tickled the kids.
- to get, move, etc., by or as by tickling: She tickled him into saying yes.
- to be affected with a tingling or itching sensation, as from light touches or strokes: I tickle all over.
- to produce such a sensation.
- an act or instance of tickling.
- a tickling sensation.
- tickled pink, Informal. greatly pleased: She was tickled pink that someone had remembered her birthday.
Origin of tickle
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tickled
Somewhere in the Afterlife, Laurence Sterne must have been tickled to see his fiendish book infused with new life.Crazy Cartography: Artists and Writers Conjure a Slew of Imaginative Maps
April 13, 2014
The one thing that may have tickled them more was when Mitch McConnell showed up on stage brandishing a rifle.CPAC: Come for the Crazy, Stay for the Party
March 7, 2014
He was just tickled and amused by the situation, punky and very funny.NCIS’s 11th Anniversary: Michael Weatherly’s Top 10 Moments
September 23, 2013
Steel balls caromed around the table as the player massaged, tickled, pressed, and slammed the flipper buttons.Paris Cafes Lose Their Pinball Machines, as Numbers Dwindle
July 13, 2013
This potential use seems to have tickled the imaginations of many, many bitcoin fanciers.Why Bitcoin is a Bubble
April 10, 2013
Her brother's face, gloomy behind the iron screen, tickled her fancy.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
We'd be tickled to death to have you, and for you to have what's left of the money when we get through with it.Her Father's Daughter
Or, crouched on the bank of a frog-pond, we tickled frogs with straws.
One question still is unresolved,--Why do frogs stay and be tickled?
She'll be tickled—you tell her I've learnt that leaf-stitch at last!Four Girls and a Compact
Annie Hamilton Donnell
- to touch, stroke, or poke (a person, part of the body, etc) so as to produce pleasure, laughter, or a twitching sensation
- (tr) to excite pleasurably; gratify
- (tr) to delight or entertain (often in the phrase tickle one's fancy)
- (intr) to itch or tingle
- (tr) to catch (a fish, esp a trout) by grasping it with the hands and gently moving the fingers into its gills
- tickle pink or tickle to death informal to please greatlyhe was tickled pink to be elected president
- a sensation of light stroking or itching
- the act of tickling
- Canadian (in the Atlantic Provinces) a narrow strait
Word Origin and History for tickled
"pleased, happy," 1580s, past participle adjective from tickle (v.).
early 14c. (intransitive) "to be thrilled or tingling," of uncertain origin, possibly a frequentative form of tick (2) in its older sense of "to touch." The Old English form was tinclian. Some suggest a metathesis of kittle (Middle English kytyllen), from Dutch kietelen, from a common North Sea Germanic word for "to tickle" (cf. Old Norse kitla, Old High German kizzilon, German kitzeln).
Meaning "to excite agreeably" (late 14c.) is a translation of Latin titillare. Meaning "to touch lightly so as to cause a peculiar and uneasy sensation" is recorded from late 14c.; that of "to poke or touch so as to excite laughter" is from early 15c.; figurative sense of "to excite, amuse" is attested from 1680s. Related: Tickled; tickling. The noun is recorded from 1801.