From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishteasetease1 /tiːz/ ●●○ verb 1 laugh [intransitive, transitive]MAKE FUN OF to laugh at someone and make jokes in order to have fun by embarrassing them, either in a friendly way or in an unkind way Don’t get upset. I was only teasing. He used to tease her mercilessly.tease somebody about something She used to tease me about my hair.RegisterIn everyday English, people often say make fun of rather than tease:Stop making fun of me!2 annoy an animal [transitive]ANNOY to deliberately annoy an animal Stop teasing the cat!3 sex [intransitive, transitive]TALK TO somebody to deliberately make someone sexually excited without intending to have sex with them, in a way that seems unkind4 hair [transitive] American EnglishDCB to comb your hair in the opposite direction to which it grows, so that it looks thicker syn backcomb British EnglishTHESAURUStease to laugh at someone and make jokes in order to have fun by embarrassing them, either in a friendly way or in an unkind way. In everyday English, people often say make fun of rather than teaseAt work, we all tease her because she’s always late.Sam’s sisters used to tease him because he was overweight.make fun of somebody/something to tease someone, especially in an unkind way, by laughing at something they do and making them seem stupidThe boys at school used to make fun of me and call me names.Everyone made fun of the way our Maths teacher walked.taunt /tɔːnt/ to tease someone in a very unpleasant way that shows you do not respect them, in order to make them angry or upsetIn the end he hit the man for taunting him about his wife.The other prisoners taunted him until he couldn’t bear it any more.pull somebody’s leg informal to tease someone in a friendly way, by trying to make them think something is true when it is notI’m not really 18. I was only pulling your leg.I don’t believe you! You’re pulling my leg!wind somebody up British English informal to deliberately say something to someone, in order to see if they become annoyed or worriedAre you trying to wind me up?My friends are always winding me up about it. take the mickey (out of somebody) British English informal to make someone look silly, often in a friendly way, for example by copying them or saying something that you do not really mean about themI don’t speak like that – stop taking the mickey!‘You’re a genius, we all know that!’ ‘Are you taking the mickey out of me?’ → tease something ↔ out→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpustease• Don't get upset, Stuart, she's only teasing.• I didn't mean to make you mad; I was only teasing.• They always do that, the saucy wenches, they like to tease and make me beg for them to come back.• Donna's only interested in teasing guys.• He teased her by trying to feed her chocolate profiteroles.• But he felt bad about teasing her.• I tease him about his prejudice.• Sam's sisters used to tease him because he was overweight.• The dog's going to bite you if you don't stop teasing it.• Kevin's always teasing me about my cooking.• Brad was one of the kids who used to tease me at school.• I knew Katie would tease me later about being a baby but I didn't care.• There is another physical law that teases me, too: the Doppler Effect.• And when they stopped begging, he would tease them.tease somebody about something• If I were you, I wouldn't tease Gerri about her hair.