When something is titillating, it makes you feel thrilled or excited. For your book report, your English teacher will probably make you read a serious novel rather than a titillating romance.

The adjective titillating implies a certain cheap or fleeting kind of excitement. Titillating things are unimportant and entertaining—maybe even a little bit lewd. The word comes from the Latin word titillationem, "a tickling," and its root titillare, " to tickle," which imitates the sound of giggling.

Definitions of titillating
  1. adjective
    pleasantly and superficially exciting
    creating or arousing excitement
  2. adjective
    giving sexual pleasure; sexually arousing
    synonyms: erotic
    marked by or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest
  3. adjective
    exciting by touching lightly so as to cause laughter or twitching movements
    synonyms: tickling, tingling
    creating or arousing excitement
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week