Tantalize meaning

tăntə-līz
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.

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To tease or excite by promising or showing something desirable and then withholding it.
verb
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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.

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To tease (someone) by offering something desirable but keeping it out of reach.
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To bait (someone) by showing something desirable but leaving them unsatisfied.
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To be strongly attractive to; excite the senses or desire of.

The aroma coming from the bakery tantalized us.

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Origin of tantalize

  • From Latin Tantalus Tantalus Tantalus

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Tantalus (Τάνταλος) in Greek mythology, who was condemned to Tartarus in the underworld. There, he had to stand for eternity in water that receded from him when he stooped to drink, beneath fruit trees whose branches were always out of reach.

    From Wiktionary