Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To touch (the body) lightly so as to cause laughter or twitching movements.
  • transitive v. To tease or excite pleasurably; titillate: suspense that tickles the reader's curiosity.
  • transitive v. To fill with mirth or pleasure; delight. See Synonyms at please.
  • intransitive v. To feel or cause a tingling sensation.
  • n. The act of tickling.
  • n. A tickling sensation.
  • idiom tickled pink Informal Very pleased; delighted: I was tickled pink by the compliment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of tickling.
  • n. A feeling resembling the result of tickling.
  • n. A narrow strait.
  • v. To touch repeatedly or stroke delicately in a manner which causes the recipient to feel a usually pleasant sensation of tingling or titillation.
  • v. To feel as if the body part in question is being tickled.
  • v. To appeal to someone's taste, curiosity etc.
  • v. To cause delight or amusement.
  • adj. Changeable, capricious; insecure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Ticklish; easily tickled.
  • adj. Liable to change; uncertain; inconstant.
  • adj. Wavering, or liable to waver and fall at the slightest touch; unstable; easily overthrown.
  • intransitive v. To feel titillation.
  • intransitive v. To excite the sensation of titillation.
  • transitive v. To touch lightly, so as to produce a peculiar thrilling sensation, which commonly causes laughter, and a kind of spasm which become dengerous if too long protracted.
  • transitive v. To please; to gratify; to make joyous.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To tease with repeated light touches in some sensitive part, so as to excite the nerves, thereby producing a peculiar thrilling sensation which commonly results in spasmodic laughter, or, if too long continued, in a convulsion; titillate.
  • To touch, affect, or excite agreeably; gratify; please or amuse by gentle appeals to one's imagination, sense of humor, vanity, or the like.
  • To take, move, or produce by touching lightly.
  • To feel titillation: as, his foot tickled.
  • To tingle pleasantly; thrill with gratification or amusement.
  • To have an impatient or uneasy desire to do or to get something; itch; tingle.
  • To produce the sensation of titillation, or the slight nervous excitement of a light touch on some sensitive part.
  • Easily moved; unsteady; unstable; inconstant.
  • n. A narrow passage or entrance to a harbor.
  • n. A light teasing touch in some sensitive part; a gentle tickling act or action.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. touch (a body part) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness, laughter, or spasmodic movements
  • n. the act of tickling
  • v. touch or stroke lightly
  • n. a cutaneous sensation often resulting from light stroking
  • v. feel sudden intense sensation or emotion

Etymologies

Middle English tikelen, perhaps frequentative of ticken, to touch lightly.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English tikelen, related to Old English tinclian ("to tickle"). Cognate with North Frisian "tigele" (Hallig dialect), and "tiikle" (Amrum dialect). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word "tickle" comes from the Middle English tickelen, which it's believed came from ticken, to touch lightly.

    Tickle, tickle (part 2)

  • This defense of evidential decision theory is called the tickle defense because it assumes that an introspected condition screens off the correlation between choice and prediction.

    Causal Decision Theory

  • Check below and see if any of the week's new titles tickle your fancy.

    Nintendo DS

  • Bolton needs to stop trying to "tickle" Cheney with that moustache ... lol cheryl

    Cheney named Conservative of the Year

  • Both times the infection started with a little 'tickle' in my skin.

    Value

  • Then, once home, he touched the spot where the 'tickle' was and I could feel, and he could see, that it was nothing.

    Value

  • And thunder and showers and some fog and just enough to kind of tickle the airports once again and make you bring the umbrella for the New York Metropolitan Airports today.

    CNN Transcript Jun 15, 2009

  • Too often we have messages that need to be responded to by a certain date, or they contain actions that, while cannot be acted on immediately, need tickling on certain dates, However, in most email programs it is unwieldy to create and manage "tickle" folders to make sure due dates don't get missed.

    MailTags: Go beyond Smart Folders for Apple Mail — Meandering Passage

  • I've still got a 'tickle' and I'm not going to sleep well again tonight.

    Reflecting on life.

  • It has a larger range of motion than its predecessor, and five "tickle" spots that have the stuffed animal rolling around in hysterics.

    In Pictures: Most In-Demand Toys Of 2006

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