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SAT vocabulary: tantalize

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Tantalus depicted in a painting.

So near, yet so far.

What does tantalize mean? Read below for the definition.

Quick vocab quiz for the word tantalize

First, before you read about the word tantalize, try this quick vocab quiz:

tantalize most nearly means

(A) amaze
(B) decline
(C) distance
(D) ignore
(E) tease

Write your answer down, or just store it in that razor-sharp mind of yours. (If you can’t wait, the answer is below.)

Now let’s learn about the word tantalize.

Part of Speech of tantalize

tantalize is a VERB.

Pronunciation of tantalize

Here’s how to pronounce tantalize:

IPA: /ˈtæn.tə.laɪz/

Glossary-style: [TAHN-tuh-lyz]

Definition of tantalize

tantalize means: attract, entice, or torment with the promise of something desirable but not likely to reachable or attainable (Ex: Lotteries tantalize people with the chance to win millions of dollars.).

Explain more about tantalize, please

tantalize means to show something wonderful to someone to make him want it, but then to keep it out of reach. For example, if someone dangles a shiny toy in front of you, but doesn’t let you have it, then she is tantalizing you. So mean, right?

Example of tantalize

Here’s the word tantalize used in a sentence:

Although I’ve not been a victim of this scam, nor even seen it in action, I’ve heard of it. It works like this–the scam artist waits at a busy intersection where traffic backs up cars, thus keeping them stalled for a few seconds, but only a few seconds. The scammer suddenly appears, seemingly out of nowhere, holding what appears to be the original packaging of an expensive consumer item, say a high-end notebook computer. The ne’er-do-well, hoping to make a quick buck, offers to sell the box to the driver of the car for a very low price, say $20 to $50. The victim, tantalized by the offer of a shiny new computer, perhaps after feeling the heft of the box, figures he’ll take the scammer up on the offer, figuring he has only a few dollars to lose if the deal goes south. Soon the traffic light turns green, drivers are blowing their horns, and the victim feels pressured to drive off, perhaps pulling over to examine his loot, only to find rocks or a telephone book inside.

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Answer to the quick vocab quiz