What does tickle mean?

Definitions for tickle
ˈtɪk əltick·le

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tickle.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ticklenoun

    a cutaneous sensation often resulting from light stroking

  2. tickle, tickling, titillationverb

    the act of tickling

  3. tickle, titillate, vellicateverb

    touch (a body part) lightly so as to excite the surface nerves and cause uneasiness, laughter, or spasmodic movements

  4. thrill, tickle, vibrateverb

    feel sudden intense sensation or emotion

    "he was thrilled by the speed and the roar of the engine"

  5. tickleverb

    touch or stroke lightly

    "The grass tickled her calves"


  1. ticklenoun

    The act of tickling.

  2. ticklenoun

    A feeling resembling the result of tickling.

    I have a persistent tickle in my throat.

  3. ticklenoun

    A narrow strait.

  4. tickleverb

    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.

  5. tickleverb

    To feel as if the body part in question is being tickled.

    My nose tickles, and I'm going to sneeze!

  6. tickleverb

    To appeal to someone's taste, curiosity etc.

  7. tickleverb

    To cause delight or amusement.

    He was tickled to receive such a wonderful gift.

  8. tickleadjective

    Changeable, capricious; insecure.

  9. Etymology: tikelen, related to tinclian. Cognate with North Frisian "tigele" (Hallig dialect), and "tiikle" (Amrum dialect).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tickleadjective

    Tottering; unfixed; unstable; easily overthrown.

    When the last O Neal began to stand upon some tickle terms, this fellow, called baron of Dunganon, was set up to beard him. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    Thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders, that a milkmaid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. William Shakespeare.

    The state of Normandy
    Stands on a tickle point, now they are gone. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Tickleverb

    Etymology: titillo, Lat.

    Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
    Can tickle where she wounds. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    The mind is moved in great vehemency only by tickling some parts of the body. Francis Bacon.

    There is a sweetness in good verse, which tickles even while it hurts; and no man can be heartily angry with him who pleases him against his will. Dryden.

    It is a good thing to laugh at any rate; and if a straw can tickle a man, it is an instrument of happiness. Dryden.

    Dametas, that of all manners of stile could best conceive of golden eloquence, being withal tickled by Musidorus’s praises, had his brain so turned, that he became slave to that which he that sued to be his servant offered to give him. Philip Sidney.

    Expectation tickling skittish spirits
    Sets all on hazard. William Shakespeare.

    Such a nature
    Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
    Which it treads on at noon. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    I cannot rule my spleen;
    My scorn rebels, and tickles me within. Dryden.

    Dunce at the best; in streets but scarce allow’d
    To tickle, on thy straw, the stupid crowd. Dryden.

    A drunkard, the habitual thirst after his cups, drives to the tavern, though he has in his view the loss of health, and perhaps of the joys of another life, the least of which is such a good as he confesses is far greater than the tickling of his palate with a glass of wine. John Locke.

  3. To Tickleverb

    To feel titillation.

    He with secret joy therefore
    Did tickle inwardly in every vein,
    And his false heart, fraught with all treason’s store,
    Was fill’d with hope, his purpose to obtain. Edmund Spenser.


  1. tickle

    Tickling is the act of touching a part of a body in a way that causes involuntary twitching movements or laughter. The word "tickle" evolved from the Middle English tikelen, perhaps frequentative of ticken, to touch lightly.In 1897, psychologists G. Stanley Hall and Arthur Allin described a "tickle" as two different types of phenomena. One type is caused by very light movement across the skin. This type of tickle, called a knismesis, generally does not produce laughter and is sometimes accompanied by an itching sensation.


  1. tickle

    Tickle is a sensation or act of lightly touching or stroking a part of a person's or an animal's body in a way that causes itching, twitching, or laughter, often involuntarily. It involves provoking laughter or reflexive movement through such light touch or play.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tickleverb

    to touch lightly, so as to produce a peculiar thrilling sensation, which commonly causes laughter, and a kind of spasm which become dengerous if too long protracted

  2. Tickleverb

    to please; to gratify; to make joyous

  3. Tickleverb

    to feel titillation

  4. Tickleverb

    to excite the sensation of titillation

  5. Tickleadjective

    ticklish; easily tickled

  6. Tickleadjective

    liable to change; uncertain; inconstant

  7. Tickleadjective

    wavering, or liable to waver and fall at the slightest touch; unstable; easily overthrown


  1. Tickle

    Tickle Inc. was a media company providing self-discovery and social networking services. Formerly known as Emode.com, Tickle was founded on the idea that personal insight and connections to others can be scientific, fun and profitable. The site also allowed users to create their own test, which were available for other users to take. Tickle survived the dot-com bubble burst of 2000, became profitable in early 2002, was acquired by Monster Worldwide in May 2004 and became part of the overall Monster network. In April 2008, it was announced that Tickle.com would be shut down at the end of June 2008, The site was permanently shut down on December 31, 2008. In January 2009, Monster launched a new quiz website entitled TestQ, which focuses on career-related content and 'PhD quizzes'.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tickle

    tik′l, adj. (Spens.) uncertain, insecure: (Shak.) tottering, insecure, easily tickled, ticklish.—n. Tick′ler, something difficult, a puzzle: a banker's memorandum-book: a dram of spirits.—adj. Tick′lish, easily tickled: easily affected: nice: critical.—adv. Tick′lishly.—n. Tick′lishness.—adj. Tick′ly, ticklish.—n. Tickly-bend′er, risky ice that bends under a skater: (pl.) any game, as tag, played on such ice. [M. E. tikel, unstable, tikelen, freq. of tick, to touch lightly.]

Editors Contribution

  1. tickleadjective

    when you move your finger against someone.

    That dumb bandit tickled her feet!

    Submitted by anonymous on April 2, 2023  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Tickle is ranked #15296 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Tickle surname appeared 1,919 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Tickle.

    96.2% or 1,847 total occurrences were White.
    1.3% or 25 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.2% or 23 total occurrences were Black.
    0.7% or 14 total occurrences were of two or more races.

How to pronounce tickle?

How to say tickle in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tickle in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tickle in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of tickle in a Sentence

  1. Butler:

    An ass will with his long ears fray The flies that tickle him away; But man delights to have his ears Blown maggots in by flatterers.

  2. Brad Pitt:

    A couple of things: I dont know if I would describe the tests as beautiful unless your idea of beauty is having a cotton swab tickle your brain, also, when he said Everyone can get a test, what he meant was: almost no one.

  3. Deanna Maher:

    He was trying to feel me up with his right hand, i kept pushing his hand away. Then he put his hand on my neck and started trying to tickle me. We were on I-75, and he was driving erratically. I was saved by the bell because we got pulled over by the police for the way he was driving.

  4. Sharon Lewin:

    This trial clearly demonstrates that disulfiram is not toxic and is safe to use, and could quite possibly be the game changer we need, the dosage of disulfiram we used provided more of a tickle than a kick to the virus, but this could be enough. Even though the drug was only given for three days, we saw a clear increase in (the) virus in (the) plasma, which was very encouraging.

  5. Chamfort:

    Tis a good thing to laugh at any rate, and if a straw can tickle a man, it is an instrument of happiness.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tickle

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"tickle." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tickle>.

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    transmitting light; able to be seen through with clarity
    A cosmopolitan
    B greedy
    C dangerous
    D transparent

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