- 1[intransitive, transitive] tease (somebody) | tease (somebody) + speech to laugh at somebody and make jokes about them, either in a friendly way or in order to annoy or embarrass them Don't get upset—I was only teasing. I used to get teased about my name. See related entries: Embarrassment
- 2[transitive] tease something to annoy an animal, especially by touching it, pulling its tail, etc.
- 3[intransitive, transitive] tease (somebody) (disapproving) to make somebody sexually excited, especially when you do not intend to have sex with them
- 4[transitive] tease somebody (with something) to make somebody want something or become excited about something by showing or offering them just a small part of it; to make somebody want more of something Spring is here and we have already been teased with a glimpse of summer. There are tempting menus to tease the taste buds. tease something He teased an appearance on tonight's show with a Twitter message.
- 5[transitive] tease something (+ adv./prep.) to pull something gently apart into separate pieces to tease wool into strands
- 6(North American English) (British English backcomb) [transitive] tease something to comb your hair in the opposite direction to the way it grows so that it looks thicker See related entries: Styling hair Word Origin Old English tǣsan (in sense (4) of the verb), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch teezen and German dialect zeisen, also to teasel. Senses 1 to 3 are a development of the earlier and more serious ‘irritate by annoying actions’ (early 17th cent.), a figurative use of the word's original sense.Extra examples His friends used to tease him about his clothes. She teased the men with an expression that was both innocent and knowing. Don’t get upset—I was only teasing. They teased her mercilessly with remarks about her weight. Phrasal Verbstease somethingout
BrE BrE//tiːz//; NAmE NAmE//tiːz//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tease
BrE BrE//tiːz//; NAmE NAmE//tiːz//he / she / it teases
BrE BrE//ˈtiːzɪz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtiːzɪz//past simple teased
BrE BrE//tiːzd//; NAmE NAmE//tiːzd//past participle teased
BrE BrE//tiːzd//; NAmE NAmE//tiːzd//-ing form teasing
BrE BrE//ˈtiːzɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈtiːzɪŋ//Styling hair, Embarrassment