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


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

Middle English tikelen, perhaps frequentative of ticken, to touch lightly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English tikelen, related to Old English tinclian ("to tickle"). Cognate with North Frisian "tigele" (Hallig dialect), and "tiikle" (Amrum dialect).


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

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


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