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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce tantalize (audio)

Dictionary definition of tantalize

To excite the senses or desires of someone in a way that is alluring or tempting, but also often frustrating or unsatisfying.
"These exotic dishes tantalize my senses with their unique flavors."

Detailed meaning of tantalize

When someone or something tantalizes, they evoke a strong feeling of interest or desire, but do not fulfill or satisfy it fully. For example, a delicious aroma might tantalize your taste buds, but unless you taste the food, your sense of taste will remain unfulfilled. A person who flirts or teases can also be said to tantalize, as they create a sense of attraction and anticipation, but do not offer a complete or satisfying experience. The term "tantalizing" can also describe something that is intriguing or enticing, but difficult to attain or understand, such as a mysterious or complex puzzle. The word "tantalize" has its roots in the Greek myth of Tantalus, who was punished by the gods by being made to stand in a pool of water beneath a tree with delicious fruit, but was unable to eat or drink because every time he reached for the food or water, it would disappear.

Example sentences containing tantalize

1. Our vacation destination will tantalize even the most seasoned traveler.
2. The prospect of success continues to tantalize me, even after so many failures.
3. The mysteries of the cosmos tantalize humanity, driving us to explore.
4. The scent of freshly baked bread can tantalize anyone walking past a bakery.
5. The upcoming release of the new novel seems to tantalize its eager readers.
6. His magic tricks always tantalize the audience with illusions of the impossible.

History and etymology of tantalize

The verb 'tantalize' has an intriguing etymology rooted in Greek mythology. It is named after Tantalus, a figure from Greek mythology who was condemned to eternal punishment in the afterlife. Tantalus was made to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low-hanging branches, but whenever he tried to drink or eat, the water and fruit would recede or move just out of his reach. This torment was his punishment for offending the gods. The word 'tantalize' emerged from this story to describe the act of exciting the senses or desires of someone in a way that is alluring or tempting but often frustrating or unsatisfying, much like Tantalus' unattainable food and drink. Thus, the etymology of 'tantalize' vividly captures the notion of something tantalizingly out of reach or just beyond one's grasp.

Quiz: Find the meaning of tantalize

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Further usage examples of tantalize

1. The promise of freedom continued to tantalize the oppressed people.
2. Secrets often tantalize those who are not privy to them.
3. The boutique's window displays tantalize passersby with the latest fashion trends.
4. Visions of a sustainable future tantalize innovators in the field of green energy.
5. Glimpses of an unknown world tantalize adventurers and explorers alike.
6. The lush landscapes and vibrant culture of Brazil tantalize many travelers.
7. The promise of gold hidden in the hills continues to tantalize prospectors.
8. These stories tantalize my imagination, making me yearn for adventures.
9. The idea of new technologies tantalize entrepreneurs, driving them towards innovation.
10. The charm of Paris will always tantalize those who appreciate beauty.
11. The recipes in this cookbook tantalize with the promise of extraordinary meals.
12. The sweet melodies from the piano will tantalize any music lover.
13. The thought of a world without poverty continues to tantalize humanitarians globally.
14. The aroma of freshly baked bread would tantalize her senses every morning.
15. The mysterious book's cover art was designed to tantalize potential readers.
16. The chef would tantalize diners with his innovative culinary creations.
17. The enigmatic riddle continued to tantalize her curious mind.
18. The distant sound of laughter and music would tantalize her with memories.
19. The alluring dance performance was meant to tantalize the audience.
20. The elusive treasure map would tantalize treasure hunters for generations.
21. The suspenseful movie trailer was designed to tantalize viewers' imaginations.
22. The exotic spices in the dish would tantalize taste buds with unique flavors.
23. The secret love letters hidden in the attic tantalize us with untold stories.
24. The unopened gift box on the table would tantalize the children's curiosity.



tease, satisfy, fulfill, content


Attraction and Allure, Enjoyment and Delight, Emotions and Serendipity

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