To excite by exposing something desirable that remains or is made difficult or impossible to obtain.
Researchers have been tantalized by the possibility of finding a cure for the disease.
To be strongly attractive to; excite the senses or desire of.
The aroma coming from the bakery tantalized us.
To tease or excite by promising or showing something desirable and then withholding it.
To tantalize is defined as to tease someone by showing them something which is desirable and then not providing it.
An example of tantalize is to let a person smell chili, but not provide any chili to eat.