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taunt1

[tawnt, tahnt] /tɔnt, tɑnt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to reproach in a sarcastic, insulting, or jeering manner; mock.
2.
to provoke by taunts; twit.
noun
3.
an insulting gibe or sarcasm; scornful reproach or challenge.
4.
Obsolete. an object of insulting gibes or scornful reproaches.
Origin
1505-1515
1505-15; origin uncertain
Related forms
taunter, noun
tauntingly, adverb
untaunted, adjective
untaunting, adjective
untauntingly, adverb
Synonyms
1. censure, upbraid, flout, insult. 2, 3. jeer. See ridicule. 3. scoff, derision, insult, censure, ridicule.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for taunts
  • So let's put aside the schoolyard taunts about who's tough.
  • He yaps at teammates, points out mistakes, taunts defenders.
  • He often taunts the rest of us in some way as part of his fun.
  • On the other hand, ignoring the taunts can damage images and sales.
  • It prohibits insults, taunts, or challenges which are likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response.
  • Instead they came home to taunts, insults and worse.
  • taunts included gang identification calls and challenges.
  • The pickets endured taunts, arrests, and imprisonment but never faltered.
  • taunts and acts of bullying that begin in school follow students home every day, and have lasting impacts on such students.
  • He taunts the trooper in a profanity-laced tirade as he is placed in the car, but mellows as he is transported to the jail.
British Dictionary definitions for taunts

taunt1

/tɔːnt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to provoke or deride with mockery, contempt, or criticism
2.
to tease; tantalize
noun
3.
a jeering remark
4.
(archaic) the object of mockery
Derived Forms
taunter, noun
taunting, adjective
tauntingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from French phrase tant pour tant like for like, rejoinder

taunt2

/tɔːnt/
adjective
1.
(nautical) (of the mast or masts of a sailing vessel) unusually tall
Word Origin
C15: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for taunts

taunt

v.

1510s, possibly from Middle French tanter, tenter "to tempt, try, provoke," variant of tempter "to try" (see tempt). Or from Middle French tant pour tant "so much for so much, tit for tat," on notion of "sarcastic rejoinder." Related: Taunted; taunting.

n.

1520s, from taunt (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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