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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 taunting
  • Armored police vehicles come flying around corners toward taunting students, who pelt them with rocks.
  • During one sequence the words of the taunting messages even seem to float in the air around the frustrated investigators.
  • All summer, the city has been taunting tourists and residents both with foggy day after unrelenting foggy day.
  • Send out personalized, taunting messages to the slackers.
  • He joined others taunting her with cruel and venomous comments.
  • Rather than taunting predators, these snakes flee, the researchers show.
  • The intruder had been sending me regular voice messages taunting me.
  • But taunting the professor should have some consequence.
  • Both players jumped to their feet and began taunting each other.
  • His smile is downright gleeful and his voice is taunting.
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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