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tantalizing

[tan-tl-ahy-zing] /ˈtæn tlˌaɪ zɪŋ/
adjective
1.
having or exhibiting something that provokes or arouses expectation, interest, or desire, especially that which remains unobtainable or beyond one's reach:
a tantalizing taste of success.
Origin of tantalizing
1650-1660
1650-60; tantalize + -ing2
Related forms
tantalizingly, adverb
untantalizing, adjective
Can be confused
tantalizing, titillating.

tantalize

or (especially British) tantalise

[tan-tl-ahyz] /ˈtæn tlˌaɪz/
verb (used with object), tantalized, tantalizing.
1.
to torment with, or as if with, the sight of something desired but out of reach; tease by arousing expectations that are repeatedly disappointed.
Origin
1590-1600; Tantal(us) + -ize
Related forms
tantalization, noun
tantalizer, noun
untantalized, adjective
Synonyms
provoke, taunt, tempt; frustrate.
Antonyms
satisfy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tantalizing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “But you really are tantalizing to-night, my dear boy,” she said.

    The Golden Face William Le Queux
  • The voice was almost as familiar to him as was his own, and yet it persisted in tantalizing his memory.

    Once to Every Man Larry Evans
  • My father said the very word was tantalizing to a lot of men who were almost dying of hunger.

  • There was the tantalizing feeling that I was on the verge of knowing at least something.

    Sense from Thought Divide Mark Irvin Clifton
  • Our best view of the aqueducts was on this journey, but it was the tantalizing sort of view one gets from a railway carriage.

British Dictionary definitions for tantalizing

tantalize

/ˈtæntəˌlaɪz/
verb
1.
(transitive) to tease or make frustrated, as by tormenting with the sight of something greatly desired but inaccessible
Derived Forms
tantalization, tantalisation, noun
tantalizer, tantaliser, noun
tantalizing, tantalising, adjective
tantalizingly, tantalisingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from the punishment of Tantalus
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 tantalizing
adj.

mid-17c., present participle adjective from tantalize. Related: Tantalizingly.

tantalize

v.

1590s, from Latin Tantalus, from Greek Tantalos, king of Phrygia, son of Zeus, punished in the afterlife (for an offense variously given) by being made to stand in a river up to his chin, under branches laden with fruit, all of which withdrew from his reach whenever he tried to eat or drink. His story was known to Chaucer (c.1369).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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