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
  1. verb
    touch (a body part) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness, laughter, or spasmodic movements
    synonyms: titillate, vellicate
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    type of:
    have or perceive an itch
  2. verb
    touch or stroke lightly
    “The grass tickled her calves”
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    type of:
    caress, fondle
    touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
  3. verb
    feel sudden intense sensation or emotion
    synonyms: thrill, vibrate
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    type of:
    excite, shake, shake up, stimulate, stir
    stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of
  4. noun
    the act of tickling
    synonyms: tickling, titillation
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    type of:
    touch, touching
    the act of putting two things together with no space between them
  5. noun
    a cutaneous sensation often resulting from light stroking
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    type of:
    cutaneous sensation, haptic sensation, skin sensation
    a sensation localized on the skin
Word Family