Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To reproach in a mocking, insulting, or contemptuous manner. See Synonyms at ridicule.
  • transitive v. To drive or incite (a person) by taunting.
  • n. A scornful remark or tirade; a jeer.
  • adj. Nautical Unusually tall. Used of masts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to make fun of (someone); to goad (a person) into responding, often in an aggressive manner.
  • n. A scornful or mocking remark; a jeer or mockery

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Very high or tall.
  • transitive v. To reproach with severe or insulting words; to revile; to upbraid; to jeer at; to flout.
  • n. Upbraiding language; bitter or sarcastic reproach; insulting invective.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Originally, to tease; rally; later, to tease spitefully; reproach or upbraid with severe or insulting words, or by casting something in one's teeth; twit scornfully or insultingly.
  • To censure, blame, or condemn for in a reproachful, scornful, or insulting manner; cast up; twit with: with a thing as object.
  • Synonyms Ridicule, Chaff, Deride, Mock, Upbraid, Taunt, Flout, Twit. We may ridicule or chaff from mere sportiveness; we may ridicule, or upbraid with a reformatory purpose; the other words represent, and all may represent, an act that is unkind. All except mock imply the use of words. As to ridicule, see ludicrous, and banter, v. and n. Chaff, which is still somewhat colloquial, means to make fun of or tease, kindly or unkindly, by light, ironical, or satirical remarks or questions. Deride expresses a hard and contemptuous feeling: “derision is ill-humored and scornful; it is anger wearing the mask of ridicule” (C. J. Smith, Syn. Disc., p. 667). It is not always so severe as this quotation makes it. Mock in its strongest sense expresses the next degree beyond derision, but with less pretense of mirth (see imitate). We upbraid a person in the hope of making him feel his guilt and mend his ways, or for the relief that our feelings find in expression; the word is one degree weaker than taunt. To taunt is to press upon a person certain facts or accusations of a reproachful character unsparingly, for the purpose of annoying or shaming, and glorying in the effect of the insulting words: as, to taunt one with his failure. To flout, or flout at, is to mock or insult with energy or abruptness; flout is the strongest of these words. To twit is to taunt over small matters, or in a small way; twit bears the relation of a diminutive to taunt.
  • n. Upbraiding words; bitter or sarcastic reproach; insulting invective.
  • n. An object of reproach; an opprobrium.
  • n. Synonyms See taunt, transitive verb
  • Nautical, high or tall: an epithet particularly noting masts of unusual height.

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

  • n. aggravation by deriding or mocking or criticizing
  • v. harass with persistent criticism or carping

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • August 14th, 2009 LONDON - Liverpool hitman Fernando Torres has thrown a title taunt at both Chelsea and Manchester United, says his club will show its real intentions in due course.

    Gaea Times (by Simple Thoughts) Breaking News and incisive views 24/7

  • His taunt is “the time of man has come to an end”, while attacking he scream “exterminate, exterminate”, looks like the Iron Giant from Disney and his dance move is the macarena: p

    Critical Hit #22: How the other half live - Part 3 | Major Spoilers - Comic Book Reviews and News

  • SANCHEZ: That is interesting you would say that, because then the obvious question that anyone would ask is, why would Barack Obama taunt him, if it is fair to use the word taunt, and then why would John McCain respond as if he was taking a dare or duel in this case?

    CNN Transcript Oct 15, 2008

  • I’ve debated letting you think that your taunt is effective … But, Jason, lambykins, I did not vote for Mr. Clinton in either election in which he ran.

    Think Progress » Zakaria: Rumsfeld ‘Seems In A Parallel Universe and Slightly Deranged’

  • It’s always safer to criticize and taunt from a distance, though ….

    Roll over, Bob Hope « BuzzMachine

  • The taunt is the ability to insult an enemy and work him into such a fever pitch of rage that he loses his head and begins fighting wildly and erratically - Tas was a master at the taunt, though he rarely found a need to use it when traveling with his warrior friends.

    Dragons of Winter Night

  • The taunt is the ability to insult an enemy and work him into such. a fever pitch of rage that he loses his head and begins fighting wildly and erratically - Tas was a master at the taunt, though he rarely found a need to use it when traveling with his warrior friends.

    Hammer and Axe

  • The taunt is the ability to insult an enemy and work him into such a fever pitch of rage that he loses his head and begins fighting wildly and erratically.

    Dragons of Winter Night

  • The suspension is taunt, which is great if you're using the car as a coupe but not if you're using it as a town car.

    Forbes.com: News

  • Having grown up listening to my father's daily hymns of praise to Harold Gimblett, Arthur Wellard, Horace Hazell and Bertie Buse, the tantalising prospect of Somerset winning their first county championship title in 119 years of trying is beginning to put the "taunt" into Taunton.

    Buoyant rugby union gives the English a reason not to emigrate

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