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taunt (v.)

mid-15c. (implied in tauntingly), possibly [Skeat] from French tanter, tenter "to tempt, try, provoke," variant of tempter "to try" (see tempt). Or from French tant pour tant "so much for so much, tit for tat," on notion of "sarcastic rejoinder" (considered by OED the "most likely suggestion"), thus from Old French tant "as much," from Latin tantus, from tam "so;" see tandem. Related: Taunted; taunting.

taunt (n.)

1520s, "bitter invective," probably from taunt (v.).

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Definitions of taunt
1
taunt (v.)
harass with persistent criticism or carping;
Synonyms: tease / razz / rag / cod / tantalize / tantalise / bait / twit / rally / ride
2
taunt (n.)
aggravation by deriding or mocking or criticizing;
Synonyms: twit / taunting
From wordnet.princeton.edu