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See more synonyms for titillate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), tit·il·lat·ed, tit·il·lat·ing.
  1. to excite or arouse agreeably: to titillate the fancy.
  2. to tickle; excite a tingling or itching sensation in, as by touching or stroking lightly.
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Origin of titillate

1610–20; < Latin tītillātus, past participle of tītillāre to tickle; see -ate1
Related formstit·il·la·tion, nountit·il·la·tive, adjectiveun·tit·il·lat·ed, adjectiveun·tit·il·lat·ing, adjective
Can be confusedtantalizing titillatingtitillate titivate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for titillation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Sliding down banisters, for instance, produces a titillation.


    Henry Stanton

  • This was an emotion that he had not enjoyed for many years, and it was not without its titillation.

    Jack and the Check Book

    John Kendrick Bangs

  • The sliding down bannisters produces a titillation which is agreeable to the sexual organs.

    Plain Talks on Avoided Subjects

    Henry Newell Guernsey

  • Every one has heard of tickling trout: the tench is almost equally amenable to titillation.

    The Gamekeeper at Home

    Richard Jefferies

  • But it was a decadent and blazé company, and something more piquant was needed for their titillation.

British Dictionary definitions for titillation


verb (tr)
  1. to arouse, tease, interest, or excite pleasurably and often superficially
  2. to cause a tickling or tingling sensation in, esp by touching
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Derived Formstitillating, adjectivetitillatingly, adverbtitillation, nountitillative, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin tītillāre
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 titillation


early 15c., "pleasing excitement," from Latin titillationem (nominative titillatio) "a tickling," noun of action from past participle stem of titillare "to tickle," imitative of giggling.

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1610s, back-formation from titillation. Related: Titillated; titillating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper