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tan·ta·lize / ˈtantlˌīz/ • v. [tr.] torment or tease (someone) with the sight or promise of something that is unobtainable: such ambitious questions have long tantalized the world's best thinkers. ∎  excite the senses or desires of (someone): she still tantalized him | [as adj.] (tantalizing) the tantalizing fragrance of fried bacon. DERIVATIVES: tan·ta·li·za·tion / ˌtantliˈzāshən/ n.tan·ta·liz·er n.tan·ta·liz·ing·ly adv.