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taunt / tônt/ • n. a remark made in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone. • v. [tr.] provoke or challenge (someone) with insulting remarks: students began taunting her about her weight. ∎  reproach (someone) with something in a contemptuous way: she had taunted him with going to another man. DERIVATIVES: taunt·er n. taunt·ing·ly adv.

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taunt †in phr. taunt pour (or for) taunt tit for tat in reply; †smart rejoinder, witty jibe; scornful reproach or challenge XVI. orig. — F. phr. tant pour tant ‘so much for so much’, like for like (L. tantum, n. of tantus so great).
Hence taunt vb. †answer back; reproach scornfully. XVI.