Etymology
Advertisement

tease (v.)

formerly also teaze, Old English tæsan "pluck, pull, tear; pull apart, comb" (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from Proto-Germanic *taisijan (source also of Danish tæse, Middle Dutch tesen, Dutch tezen "to draw, pull, scratch," Old High German zeisan "to tease, pick wool").

The original sense is of running thorns through wool or flax to separate, shred, or card the fibers. The figurative sense of "vex, worry, annoy" (sometimes done in good humor) emerged 1610s. For similar sense development, compare heckle. Hairdressing sense is recorded from 1957. Related: Teased; teasing; teasingly.

tease (n.)

1690s, "act of teasing," from tease (v.). Meaning "one who teases" is from 1852. Specifically as short for cock-teaser, it was in use by 1976.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of tease
1
tease (v.)
annoy persistently;
The children teased the boy because of his stammer
Synonyms: badger / pester / bug / beleaguer
tease (v.)
harass with persistent criticism or carping;
The children teased the new teacher
Synonyms: razz / rag / cod / tantalize / tantalise / bait / taunt / twit / rally / ride
tease (v.)
to arouse hope, desire, or curiosity without satisfying them;
The advertisement is intended to tease the customers
tease (v.)
tear into pieces;
tease tissue for microscopic examinations
tease (v.)
raise the nap of (fabrics);
tease (v.)
disentangle and raise the fibers of;
tease wool
Synonyms: tease apart / loosen
tease (v.)
separate the fibers of;
tease wool
Synonyms: card
tease (v.)
mock or make fun of playfully;
the flirting man teased the young woman
tease (v.)
ruffle (one's hair) by combing the ends towards the scalp, for a full effect;
Synonyms: fluff
2
tease (n.)
someone given to teasing (as by mocking or stirring curiosity);
Synonyms: teaser / annoyer / vexer
tease (n.)
a seductive woman who uses her sex appeal to exploit men;
Synonyms: coquette / flirt / vamp / vamper / minx / prickteaser
tease (n.)
the act of harassing someone playfully or maliciously (especially by ridicule); provoking someone with persistent annoyances;
he ignored their teases
Synonyms: teasing / ribbing / tantalization
From wordnet.princeton.edu