Definition of taunt in English:

taunt

noun

  • A remark made in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone.

    • ‘Throughout his high school years in the nearby town of Bay Minette, he weathered the taunts and teases of classmates for being gay.’
    • ‘And due to public pressure - which came in the form of letters, phone calls, taunts, jeers and even bomb threats - the city was forced to pull the plug on the project.’
    • ‘I'm finding it difficult to get myself motivated for the game, but if only to avoid the taunts and jeers of the Magyar Armchair Brigade, I'm hoping for at least a draw.’
    • ‘I was humiliated, and dealing with the endless taunts from my classmates led me to overeat.’
    • ‘Fans still trade abusive taunts and many thankfully can still take a bit of name-calling without crying to the authorities.’
    • ‘And Stine just kept right on provoking him with taunts and derision.’
    • ‘The fact that there was perhaps some justification to the taunts of the veterans angered him.’
    • ‘The character voices and taunts are annoying and lame.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the Polish-born Sophie is made miserable by the racist taunts of classmates.’
    • ‘Her first day was filled with jeering and taunts but she remained patient with them.’
    • ‘Each character also has their share of taunts, but the taunts get repetitive quickly and become annoying.’
    • ‘No. To me the idea that words or taunts can enrage somebody to kill and act out of anger, and our judicial system says that's okay, is barbaric.’
    • ‘How many taunts, threats or downright abusive remarks have been reluctantly swallowed with a fatalistic shrug?’
    • ‘She has lived with stones thrown through the front window of her Athy home, taunts and jeers, media hostility and the utter loneliness of no contact with her family and much loved daughters.’
    • ‘They returned to the hall in time for the next item on the agenda, amid jeers and taunts from the Treasury benches.’
    • ‘There is a provocative bunch of yobs among their exports, while not listed soccer thugs, still ignite tempers by taunts and tease and then claim innocence when the law steps in.’
    • ‘I phrased it as a sarcastic taunt, but I genuinely wanted to know the answer.’
    • ‘The eldest son in his family, Mohan had a bad time at school because his speech was the focus of many unkind taunts from his classmates.’
    • ‘However, my racial background did not bring taunts from my classmates.’
    • ‘Sandra stayed at home, away from the taunts and jibes of her white schoolfellows, and illicitly befriended the children of the family's black nanny.’
    jeer, gibe, sneer, insult, barb, catcall, brickbat, scoff, slap in the face
    View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Provoke or challenge (someone) with insulting remarks.

    ‘students began taunting her about her weight’
    • ‘The last thing we want is to put ourselves in the position where he is taunted or provoked and reacts again.’
    • ‘When he finally made it to the stage to alternately flip his hair and continue sneering, he began taunting the crowd and encouraging them to pump their fists - then the sound promptly gave out.’
    • ‘When my mum wasn't in the room he would always say snide remarks, taunting me.’
    • ‘They began taunting the friends and threatening them, before launching a physical attack.’
    • ‘A thousand ways to insult and taunt him came to my mind, but I kept quiet.’
    • ‘Moments later the twins came by and true to their word, began to taunt Nicholas.’
    • ‘But he was unable to speak or write Marathi and fellow students taunted him.’
    • ‘His odd appearance and manner attracted the attention of local children, who would continually taunt him, provoking him to lose his temper and damage property.’
    • ‘It was under the pressure of people in the audience hurling drunken comments, taunting him, wanting him to fail, expecting him to fall apart.’
    • ‘The three surrounded her; began shoving and taunting her.’
    • ‘She began to tease and taunt him by playing with his locks.’
    • ‘From afar they began to taunt the crowd in the square, chanting, ‘We own this country now,’ and ordering the people in the opposition crowd to return to their homes.’
    • ‘She began to taunt me, of all people, for actually trying not to get her killed, which didn't rank her high on my good side at that moment.’
    • ‘For instance, while waiting once on the on-deck circle in Boston, a fan began taunting him.’
    • ‘The British used it to taunt the Americans, the Americans then used the same version back ironically to taunt the British.’
    • ‘The seven man, five woman jury rejected a call to convict him of manslaughter on the grounds of his claims that he was provoked by his wife taunting him about affairs.’
    • ‘Imagine if your colleagues all began to taunt you, all of the time, every day.’
    • ‘This might also be when parents or other adults constantly use sarcasm, threaten, criticise, yell at or taunt a child.’
    • ‘She'd sat by her car, waiting while snickering students passed by, taunting her for what she couldn't understand and could care less about.’
    • ‘He had insulted her, taunted her, hurt her, broken her down, threatened her…’
    jeer at, gibe at, sneer at, scoff at, poke fun at, make fun of, get at, insult, tease, chaff, torment, provoke, goad, ridicule, deride, mock, heckle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Reproach (someone) with something in a contemptuous way.
      ‘she had taunted him with going to another man’
      • ‘They knew this as well, so they taunted me with their sharp swords and barbed words.’
      • ‘One day at school a boy taunted him with the story that his mother had killed herself.’
      • ‘He loathes food critics, loves a fight and taunts women with his arrogance and charm.’
      • ‘True, not everybody loves her; there are some who taunt her with sarcastic parodies, bilious caricatures, and scathing articles.’

Origin

Early 16th century: from French tant pour tant ‘like for like, tit for tat’, from tant ‘so much’, from Latin tantum, neuter of tantus. An early use of the verb was ‘exchange banter’.

Pronunciation

taunt

/tônt//tɔnt/