tease


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Tease \Tease\ (t[=e]z), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Teased (t[=e]zd);
   p. pr. & vb. n. Teasing.] [AS. t?san to pluck, tease; akin
   to OD. teesen, MHG. zeisen, Dan. t[ae]se, t[ae]sse. [root]58.
   Cf. Touse.]
   1. To comb or card, as wool or flax. "Teasing matted wool."
      --Wordsworth.
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   2. To stratch, as cloth, for the purpose of raising a nap;
      teasel.
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   3. (Anat.) To tear or separate into minute shreds, as with
      needles or similar instruments.
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   4. To vex with importunity or impertinence; to harass, annoy,
      disturb, or irritate by petty requests, or by jests and
      raillery; to plague. --Cowper.
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            He . . . suffered them to tease him into acts
            directly opposed to his strongest inclinations.
                                                  --Macaulay.
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   Syn: To vex; harass: annoy; disturb; irritate; plague;
        torment; mortify; tantalize; chagrin.

   Usage: Tease, Vex. To tease is literally to pull or
          scratch, and implies a prolonged annoyance in respect
          to little things, which is often more irritating, and
          harder to bear, than severe pain. Vex meant originally
          to seize and bear away hither and thither, and hence,
          to disturb; as, to vex the ocean with storms. This
          sense of the term now rarely occurs; but vex is still
          a stronger word than tease, denoting the disturbance
          or anger created by minor provocations, losses,
          disappointments, etc. We are teased by the buzzing of
          a fly in our eyes; we are vexed by the carelessness or
          stupidity of our servants.
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                Not by the force of carnal reason,
                But indefatigable teasing.        --Hudibras.
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                In disappointments, where the affections have
                been strongly placed, and the expectations
                sanguine, particularly where the agency of
                others is concerned, sorrow may degenerate into
                vexation and chagrin.             --Cogan.
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   Tease tenon (Joinery), a long tenon at the top of a post to
      receive two beams crossing each other one above the other.
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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Tease \Tease\, n.
   One who teases or plagues. [Colloq.]
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