Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

tickle - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb tickle pronunciation in British English /ˈtɪk(ə)l/
Word Forms
present tense
present participletickling
past tensetickled
past participletickled
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [transitive] to move your fingers gently on someone’s skin in order to give them a pleasant feeling or to make them laugh

    The dog rolled over, waiting for his tummy to be tickled.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] if something tickles you, it touches your skin gently and gives you a pleasant or slightly uncomfortable feeling

      Bubbles from the champagne were tickling her nose.

  2. 2
    [transitive] informal if something such as a remark or an idea tickles you, you think it is funny

    It tickled him to think that she’d asked him for advice.

    1. a.
      if something tickles you, it makes you feel pleased

      It always tickled her to get a card from them.


sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play