Tease Tease (t[=e]z), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Teased}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Teasing}.] [AS. t?san to pluck, tease; akin to OD. teesen, MHG. zeisen, Dan. t[ae]se, t[ae]sse. [root]58. Cf. {Touse}.] 1. To comb or card, as wool or flax. ``Teasing matted wool.'' --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]

2. To stratch, as cloth, for the purpose of raising a nap; teasel. [1913 Webster]

3. (Anat.) To tear or separate into minute shreds, as with needles or similar instruments. [1913 Webster]

4. To vex with importunity or impertinence; to harass, annoy, disturb, or irritate by petty requests, or by jests and raillery; to plague. --Cowper. [1913 Webster]

He . . . suffered them to tease him into acts directly opposed to his strongest inclinations. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To vex; harass: annoy; disturb; irritate; plague; torment; mortify; tantalize; chagrin.

Usage: {Tease}, {Vex}. To tease is literally to pull or scratch, and implies a prolonged annoyance in respect to little things, which is often more irritating, and harder to bear, than severe pain. Vex meant originally to seize and bear away hither and thither, and hence, to disturb; as, to vex the ocean with storms. This sense of the term now rarely occurs; but vex is still a stronger word than tease, denoting the disturbance or anger created by minor provocations, losses, disappointments, etc. We are teased by the buzzing of a fly in our eyes; we are vexed by the carelessness or stupidity of our servants. [1913 Webster]

Not by the force of carnal reason, But indefatigable teasing. --Hudibras. [1913 Webster]

In disappointments, where the affections have been strongly placed, and the expectations sanguine, particularly where the agency of others is concerned, sorrow may degenerate into vexation and chagrin. --Cogan. [1913 Webster]

{Tease tenon} (Joinery), a long tenon at the top of a post to receive two beams crossing each other one above the other. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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