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tease

[teez] /tiz/
verb (used with object), teased, teasing.
1.
to irritate or provoke with persistent petty distractions, trifling raillery, or other annoyance, often in sport.
2.
to pull apart or separate the adhering fibers of (wool or the like), as in combing or carding; comb or card, as wool; shred.
3.
to ruffle (the hair) by holding it at the ends and combing toward the scalp so as to give body to a hairdo.
4.
to raise a nap on (cloth) with teasels; teasel.
5.
Also, teaser. Television Slang. a short scene or highlight shown at the beginning of a film or television show to attract the audience's attention.
verb (used without object), teased, teasing.
6.
to provoke or disturb a person or animal by importunity or persistent petty annoyances.
noun
7.
a person who teases or annoys.
8.
the act of teasing or the state of being teased.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English tesen (v.), Old English tǣsan to pull, tear, comb; cognate with Middle Low German tesen, Old High German zeisan to pluck
Related forms
teasable, adjective
teasableness, noun
teasingly, adverb
outtease, verb (used with object), outteased, outteasing.
unteased, adjective
Synonyms
1. trouble, disturb, vex; harass. See bother.
Antonyms
1. mollify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tease
  • Kids will always find some reason to tease other kids.
  • Pundits bitterly debate the meaning of the shift, while economists struggle to tease out the factors behind it.
  • Today scientists are racing to tease apart the terra-preta recipe.
  • The achievement could help researchers tease out genes that cause the genetic disorder.
  • Trust me, even if they tease you, they will look at it and be impressed.
  • It is not actual life, but it is surely the tease before the last veil finally falls away.
  • The careful eye can tease out paisleys of color and form.
  • Such patterns make it possible to tease out their relative contributions.
  • Jim, oh this list is such a tease for those of us in less congenial climates.
  • Researchers can use those and other details to better tease out how the rings evolved over time.
British Dictionary definitions for tease

tease

/tiːz/
verb
1.
to annoy (someone) by deliberately offering something with the intention of delaying or withdrawing the offer
2.
to arouse sexual desire in (someone) with no intention of satisfying it
3.
to vex (someone) maliciously or playfully, esp by ridicule
4.
(transitive) to separate the fibres of; comb; card
5.
(transitive) to raise the nap of (a fabric) with a teasel
6.
(US & Canadian) Also backcomb. to comb the under layers of (the hair) towards the roots to give more bulk to a hairstyle
7.
(transitive) to loosen or pull apart (biological tissues, etc) by delicate agitation or prodding with an instrument
noun
8.
a person or thing that teases
9.
the act of teasing
See also tease out
Derived Forms
teasing, adjective
teasingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English tǣsan; related to Old High German zeisan to pick
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 tease
v.

Old English tæsan "pluck, pull apart" (fibers of wool, flax, etc.), from West Germanic *taisijanan (cf. 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" emerged 1610s. For similar sense development, see heckle. Hairdressing sense is recorded from 1957.

n.

"one who teases," 1852, from tease (v.). Specifically as short for cock-teaser, it was in use by 1976.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tease in Medicine

tease (tēz)
v. teased, teas·ing, teas·es
To separate the structural parts of a tissue, as with a needle, in order to prepare it for microscopic examination.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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