tickle

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tickle (plural tickles)

  1. The act of tickling.
  2. A feeling resembling the result of tickling.
    I have a persistent tickle in my throat.
  3. (Newfoundland) A narrow strait.
    • 2004, Richard Fortey, The Earth, Folio Society 2011, p. 169:
      Cow Head itself is a prominent headland connected to the settlement by a natural causeway, or ‘tickle’ as the Newfoundlanders prefer it.

Verb[edit]

tickle (third-person singular simple present tickles, present participle tickling, simple past and past participle tickled)

  1. (transitive) To touch repeatedly or stroke delicately in a manner which causes the recipient to feel a usually pleasant sensation of tingling or titillation.
    He tickled Nancy's tummy, and she started to giggle.
    • Shakespeare
      If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
  2. (intransitive, of a body part) To feel as if the body part in question is being tickled.
    My nose tickles, and I'm going to sneeze!
  3. (transitive) To appeal to someone's taste, curiosity etc.
  4. (transitive) To cause delight or amusement in.
    He was tickled to receive such a wonderful gift.
    • Alexander Pope
      Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw.
    • Shakespeare
      Such a nature / Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow / Which he treads on at noon.
  5. (intransitive) To feel titillation.
    • Spenser
      He with secret joy therefore / Did tickle inwardly in every vein.

Quotations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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Adjective[edit]

tickle (comparative more tickle, superlative most tickle)

  1. Changeable, capricious; insecure.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.4:
      So ticle be the termes of mortall state, / And full of subtile sophismes, which do play / With double senses, and with false debate [...].

Anagrams[edit]