Tantalize Tan"ta*lize, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Tantalized}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Tantalizing}.] [From {Tantalus}: cf. F. tantaliser.] To tease or torment by presenting some good to the view and exciting desire, but continually frustrating the expectations by keeping that good out of reach; to tease; to torment. [1913 Webster]

Thy vain desires, at strife Within themselves, have tantalized thy life. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To tease; vex; irritate; provoke.

Usage: {Tantalize}, {Disappoint}. To disappoint is literally to do away with what was (or was taken to be) appointed; hence the peculiar pain from hopes thus dashed to the ground. To tantalize, a much stronger term, describes a most distressing form of disappointment, as in the case of Tantalus, the Phrygian king. To tantalize is to visit with the bitterest disappointment -- to torment by exciting hopes or expectations which can never be realized. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • tantalizing — [tan′tə līz΄iŋ] adj. 1. that tantalizes 2. tempting; enticing [a tantalizing odor of cookies] tantalizingly adv …   English World dictionary

  • tantalizing — index provocative, sapid Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tantalizing — (adj.) mid 17c., prp. adjective from TANTALIZE (Cf. tantalize). Related: Tantalizingly …   Etymology dictionary

  • tantalizing — adjective 1. arousing desire or expectation for something unattainable or mockingly out of reach (Freq. 1) a tantalizing taste of success • Syn: ↑tantalising • Similar to: ↑inviting 2. very pleasantly inviting (Freq. 1) …   Useful english dictionary

  • tantalizing — tantalizingly, adv. /tan tl uy zing/, adj. having or exhibiting something that provokes or arouses expectation, interest, or desire, esp. that which remains unobtainable or beyond one s reach: a tantalizing taste of success. [1650 60; TANTALIZE + …   Universalium

  • tantalizing — adjective Teasing; tempting, but beyond reach. ...then it was that monomaniac Ahab, furious with this tantalizing vicinity of his foe, which placed him all alive and helpless in the very jaws he hated; frenzied with all this, he seized the long… …   Wiktionary

  • tantalizing — adj. Tantalizing is used with these nouns: ↑glimpse, ↑hint …   Collocations dictionary

  • tantalizing — tan|ta|liz|ing also tantalising BrE [ˈtæntəl aızıŋ] adj making you feel a strong desire to have or do something ▪ the tantalizing smell of fried bacon >tantalizingly adv ▪ She was tantalizingly out of reach …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tantalizing — tan|ta|liz|ing [ tæntl,aızıŋ ] adjective making you feel excited or hopeful about having something you want, often something that you never get: a tantalizing display of chocolates ╾ tan|ta|liz|ing|ly adverb: We were tantalizingly close to… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • tantalizing — also tantalising BrE adjective making you feel a strong desire to have something that you cannot have: The tantalizing smell of warm bread wafted out of the shop. tantalizingly adverb …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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