American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To excite (another) by exposing something desirable while keeping it out of reach.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To tease or torment by presenting something desirable to the view, and frustrating expectation by keeping it out of reach; excite expectations or hopes or fears in (a person) which will not be realized; tease; torment; vex. Also spelled tantalise.
- v. transitive to tease (someone) by offering something desirable but keeping it out of reach
- v. transitive to bait (someone) by showing something desirable but leaving them unsatisfied
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To tease or torment by presenting some good to the view and exciting desire, but continually frustrating the expectations by keeping that good out of reach; to tease; to torment.
- v. harass with persistent criticism or carping
- From Tantalus (Τάνταλος) in Greek mythology, who was condemned to Tartarus in the underworld. There, he had to stand for eternity in water that receded from him when he stooped to drink, beneath fruit trees whose branches were always out of reach. (Wiktionary)
- From Latin Tantalus, Tantalus; see Tantalus. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Many words come from Greek roots, but the roots for "tantalize" run all the way to Greek myth about a misbehaving son of Zeus named Tantalus.”
“Let's thwart those blood-thirsty savages, who, in the name of Islam, target innocents and tantalize the taliban-bashers.”
“ECLIPSE can pounce on you like a ravenous jaguar, cloud your judgment like a dense fog, or tantalize your senses with kaleidoscopic color-tones.”
“The point is to tantalize the public and belittle the administration.”
“And James Bond is a stretch, though Brown is younger than Sean Connery and those JB initials do tantalize.”
“To always say more than it intends, to conjure up possibilities that set us off on internal flights of fancy, to gesture beyond itself in myriad ways and to tantalize with the shadows of other stories, hiding in the corners of the most realistic of narratives.”
“Mr. Ashbery has lived with the radiant and elusive prose poems of the "Illuminations" for a lifetime; they tantalize him still.”
“A decade on, despite all the investigations and reports, they still tantalize: Why didn't the FBI brass follow up on field reports of visiting young Arabs trying the learn how to fly jumbo jets?”
“From the signature characters that made such authors as David Morrell and John Lescroart famous to four of the hottest new voices in the genre, this blockbuster will tantalize and terrify.”
“The women's colorful dress, rainbow-spectrum saris that tantalize the eyes, dot the landscape and stand out against the men in plain white sarongs with gold trim, usually shirtless and full of smell.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘tantalize’.
Adjectives derived from mythological figures
Someone must have had an inferiority complex.
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Words derived from names, be they historical, literary, or mythological.
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