Definition of taunt in English:

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Pronunciation: /tɔːnt/


A remark made in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone: pupils will play truant rather than face the taunts of classmates about their ragged clothes
More example sentences
  • The fact that there was perhaps some justification to the taunts of the veterans angered him.
  • And Stine just kept right on provoking him with taunts and derision.
  • Throughout his high school years in the nearby town of Bay Minette, he weathered the taunts and teases of classmates for being gay.
jeer, gibe, sneer, insult, barb, catcall, brickbat, scoff, slap in the face;
(taunts) teasing, taunting, provocation, goading, ridiculing, derision, mockery, sarcasm
informal dig, put-down
Cricket , informal sledge


[with object]
1Provoke or challenge (someone) with insulting remarks: pupils began taunting her about her weight (as adjective taunting) taunting comments
More example sentences
  • When he finally made it to the stage to alternately flip his hair and continue sneering, he began taunting the crowd and encouraging them to pump their fists - then the sound promptly gave out.
  • The seven man, five woman jury rejected a call to convict him of manslaughter on the grounds of his claims that he was provoked by his wife taunting him about affairs.
  • The last thing we want is to put ourselves in the position where he is taunted or provoked and reacts again.
jeer at, gibe at, sneer at, scoff at, poke fun at, make fun of, get at, insult, tease, chaff, torment, provoke, goad, ridicule, deride, mock, heckle;
North American  ride
informal rib, needle, put down, hassle, rag, guy
Cricket , informal sledge
dated make sport of
1.1Reproach (someone) with something in a contemptuous way: she had taunted him with going to another man
More example sentences
  • True, not everybody loves her; there are some who taunt her with sarcastic parodies, bilious caricatures, and scathing articles.
  • They knew this as well, so they taunted me with their sharp swords and barbed words.
  • He loathes food critics, loves a fight and taunts women with his arrogance and charm.



Pronunciation: /ˈtɔːntə/
Example sentences
  • Some officers try to talk sense into the taunters.
  • They will be aided in their dark deed by the union of circus clowns, who, beneath their veneer of jollity, are brutal and merciless taunters of the innocent.
  • Ed responded to my message with all the wit of a schoolyard taunter (I refer interested parties to his blog for the full exchange) complete with schoolyard back up.


Pronunciation: /ˈtɔːntɪŋli/
Example sentences
  • But the common man has begun to realize that the overbearing sight of security personnel, looking tauntingly at the average citizen, is done at the public's cost.
  • I thought I saw them collectively turn their floppy heads tauntingly in my direction.
  • Then he said, tauntingly, ‘I see you still carry that stick everywhere, and, do my eyes deceive me?’


Early 16th century: from French tant pour tant 'like for like, tit for tat', from tant 'so much', from Latin tantum, neuter of tantus. An early use of the verb was 'exchange banter'.

  • Taunt is probably from French tant pour tant ‘like for like, tit for tat’, from tant ‘so much’. An early use of the verb was ‘exchange banter, retort with banter’.

Words that rhyme with taunt

avaunt, daunt, flaunt, gaunt, haunt, jaunt, vaunt

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: taunt

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