tease

To tease is to pick on someone or to give false hope. You can tease your little sister by saying "nanny nanny boo boo" or by holding a cookie just out of her reach.

Tease, a modern spelling of the Old English taesan “pluck, pull apart" is now associated with the act of harassing. You can still use tease as a verb, though, to describe the act of backcombing your hair to give it volume. But more commonly, tease refers to messing with someone. There’s an old proverb, “Patience when teased is often transformed into rage,” which means if you tease someone a lot, you might get your booty kicked!

Definitions of tease
  1. verb
    mock or make fun of playfully
    “the flirting man teased the young woman”
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    type of:
    blackguard, guy, jest at, laugh at, make fun, poke fun, rib, ridicule, roast
    subject to laughter or ridicule
  2. verb
    annoy persistently
    “The children teased the boy because of his stammer”
    synonyms: badger, beleaguer, bug, pester
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    type of:
    bedevil, crucify, dun, frustrate, rag, torment
    treat cruelly
  3. verb
    harass with persistent criticism or carping
    “The children teased the new teacher”
    synonyms: bait, cod, rag, rally, razz, ride, tantalise, tantalize, taunt, twit
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    types:
    barrack, flout, gibe, jeer, scoff
    laugh at with contempt and derision
    banter, chaff, jolly, josh, kid
    be silly or tease one another
    type of:
    bemock, mock
    treat with contempt
  4. verb
    arouse hope, desire, or curiosity without satisfying them
    “The advertisement is intended to tease the customers”
    “She has a way of teasing men with her flirtatious behavior”
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    type of:
    control, keep in line, manipulate
    control (others or oneself) or influence skillfully, usually to one's advantage
  5. noun
    the act of harassing someone playfully or maliciously (especially by ridicule); provoking someone with persistent annoyances
    “he ignored their teases
    synonyms: ribbing, tantalization, teasing
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    type of:
    harassment, molestation
    the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism
  6. noun
    someone given to teasing (as by mocking or stirring curiosity)
    synonyms: annoyer, teaser, vexer
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    type of:
    persona non grata, unwelcome person
    a person who for some reason is not wanted or welcome
  7. noun
    a flirt who excites desire but does not intend to satisfy it
    synonyms: coquette, flirt, minx, vamp, vamper
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    type of:
    adult female, woman
    an adult female person (as opposed to a man)
  8. verb
    tear into pieces
    tease tissue for microscopic examinations”
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    type of:
    rip up, shred, tear up
    tear into shreds
  9. verb
    disentangle and raise the fibers of
    tease wool”
    synonyms: loosen, tease apart
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    type of:
    disentangle, straighten out, unsnarl
    extricate from entanglement
  10. verb
    separate the fibers of
    tease wool”
    synonyms: card
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    type of:
    separate
    divide into components or constituents
  11. verb
    raise the nap of (fabrics)
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    type of:
    change surface
    undergo or cause to undergo a change in the surface
  12. verb
    ruffle (one's hair) by combing the ends towards the scalp, for a full effect
    synonyms: fluff
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    type of:
    comb, comb out, disentangle
    smoothen and neaten with or as with a comb
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