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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 of taunt1
1505-1515
1505-15; origin uncertain
Related forms
taunter, noun
tauntingly, adverb
untaunted, adjective
untaunting, adjective
untauntingly, adverb
Can be confused
taught, taunt, taut.
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for taunting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The young ladies were taunting one another; Juliet in frantic passion; Cherry in sarcastic mockery.

    Johnny Ludlow, Sixth Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • But the boys only laughed, and began again the taunting song.

  • In taunting him with what he might have had, however, she let the identity of the newsbringer leak out.

    A Soldier of the Legion C. N. Williamson
  • Scott, now taunting Levake openly, stepped directly in front of him.

    The Mountain Divide Frank H. Spearman
  • I abstained from watching him, for I had no desire to spoil his evening sport by taunting him to continue his experiment.

British Dictionary definitions for taunting

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 taunting

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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9
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