Definition of tickle in English:

tickle

Line breaks: tickle
Pronunciation: /ˈtɪk(ə)l
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Lightly touch or prod (a person or a part of the body) in a way that causes mild discomfort or itching and often laughter: I tickled him under the ears
More example sentences
  • She squealed with laughter as I started tickling her.
  • I smiled as we kissed, her touch tickling me slightly.
  • I collapsed in laughter and began tickling him in earnest.
Synonyms
stroke, pet, lightly touch, lightly prod, chuck
archaic titillate
1.1 [no object] (Of a part of the body) have a sensation of mild irritation or discomfort: his throat had stopped tickling
More example sentences
  • It feels like a strange prickling sensation, and it tickles around my arms.
  • I wanted him to stop, but it tickled so much that I couldn't help but laugh.
  • On some days though when you step outside your throat tickles slightly and your eyes water, often so little that you barely realize it.
1.2Catch (a trout) by lightly rubbing it so that it moves backwards into the hand: the skill of a poacher tickling a trout
More example sentences
  • We arrived in Clapham, a cheerful start, with screeching children playing on the beck banks as a teacher splashed them while pretending to show how to tickle a trout.
  • Forget any romantic notions of setting horse hair traps for rabbits in the pale dawn and then settling down to tickle trout from the mossy banks of the stream.
2Appeal to (someone’s taste, curiosity, etc.): here are a couple of anecdotes that might tickle your fancy
More example sentences
  • It was hard to say why anymore - at first it had been a joke, a game, and then because something about his friend's reserve tickled his curiosity.
  • To tickle your taste buds, the food festival offers a wide range of dishes, including pastas, salads, soups, desserts and pizzas.
  • These spicy and saucy ribs will tickle your taste buds and keep you coming back for more.
Synonyms
stimulate, interest, appeal to, excite, arouse, captivate
2.1Cause (someone) amusement or pleasure: he is tickled by the idea
More example sentences
  • ‘We've found that people are tickled by the idea of seeing such a familiar, everyday product used in a novel way,’ says Miller.
  • I was tickled by the idea of making a film for posterity.
  • I was always thinking that you were already my brother-in-law, and the idea just tickled me.
Synonyms
amuse, entertain, divert, please, delight, gladden, cheer up, satisfy, gratify
informal tickle someone pink

noun

[in singular] Back to top  
1An act of tickling someone: Dad gave my chin a little tickle
More example sentences
  • He seemed glad of the company after a long, dark winter and was soon swimming through my legs and even accepting a tickle under the chin.
  • She felt his soft kiss and the tickle of his long hair on her cheek.
  • He'd make humorous, taunting faces or just out-do her hits with an unserious blow or a tickle.
Synonyms
stroke, pet, light prod, chuck
archaic titillation
1.1A sensation like that of being lightly touched or prodded: I had a tickle between my shoulder blades
More example sentences
  • The point barely touched her skin; she only felt a small tickle.
  • It's a barely noticeable sensation, just a whisper of a tickle.
  • I can't remember if Holly tucked both arms under and anyway, what if he wanted to itch a tickle on his nose?

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'be delighted or thrilled'): perhaps a frequentative of tick1, or an alteration of Scots and dialect kittle 'to tickle' (compare with kittle).

Phrases

be tickled pink (or to death)

informal Be extremely amused or pleased: take her along—she’d be tickled pink
More example sentences
  • I know he would have been tickled pink, a little embarrassed and mightily amused.
  • Nurses from the new breast unit at Airedale Hospital were tickled pink by a supermarket's fundraising effort.
  • Cheery ladies from Bolton were tickled pink when they learned that laughing can make people slim.

tickle the ivories

informal Play the piano: the resident pianist will be tickling the ivories
More example sentences
  • The winner of the 1992 Preston Guild Piano Competition will be tickling the ivories from 1.05 pm.
  • Williams loves to play the piano and has entertained his staff with some wonderful work tickling the ivories, as well as exhibiting a sound understanding of the nuanced area of wine appreciation.
  • The month is rounded off in style with the Alexander Brothers, one of Scotland's leading bands tickling the ivories on the 24th of the month.

Definition of tickle in:

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Word of the day impudicity
Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
noun
lack of modesty