When you tickle someone, you touch them in a way that makes them laugh and squirm. It's impossible to tickle yourself—you can only tickle others.

You might tickle a baby to make him squeal and giggle, and the sensation he feels is also called a tickle. An itching sensation is also sometimes referred to as a tickle, like a tickle in your throat when you're getting sick. Colloquially, you can tickle someone (or tickle them pink) by delighting them: "It tickles me when you surprise me with cupcakes!" Some experts suspect that this word comes from the Scots kittle, "to tickle."

Definitions of tickle

v touch (a body part) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness, laughter, or spasmodic movements

titillate, vellicate
Type of:
have or perceive an itch

v touch or stroke lightly

“The grass tickled her calves”
Type of:
caress, fondle
touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner

v feel sudden intense sensation or emotion

thrill, vibrate
Type of:
excite, shake, shake up, stimulate, stir
stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of

n the act of tickling

tickling, titillation
Type of:
touch, touching
the act of putting two things together with no space between them

n a cutaneous sensation often resulting from light stroking

Type of:
cutaneous sensation, haptic sensation, skin sensation
a sensation localized on the skin

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