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tease (something) out
1. To separate something that has become entangled or overly complicated. My mother used a hairbrush to tease the knot out of my hair. I wasn't able to tease out the meaning of the film, even after watching it again for the fourth time.
2. To lure, obtain, or extract something out of hiding or secrecy. Usually followed by "of (someone, something, or some place)." I used a piece of cheese covered with peanut butter to tease the mouse out of the wall. After a lot or probing and coaxing, we finally teased an answer out of the boss.
tease someone about someone or something
to make fun of someone about someone or something; to poke fun at someone about someone or something. The boys teased Don about his girlfriend. Stop teasing me about it!
See also: tease
tease someone into doing something
to force someone to do something through teasing or tormenting. Sam teased her into doing what he wanted. Perhaps you can tease him into leaving, but he won't go if you ask him.
See also: tease
tease something out
Fig. to separate threads or hairs by combing. The hairdresser teased Jill's hair out carefully. The hairdresser teased out Jill's hair.
tease something out of somethingand tease something out
to lure something out of something by teasing or tempting. I managed to tease the cat out of the tree with a bit offish. I teased out the cat.
Lure out, obtain or extract with effort, as in We had a hard time teasing the wedding date out of him. This term alludes to the literal sense of tease, "untangle or release something with a pointed tool." [Mid-1900s]
To remove or obtain something by or as if by untangling or releasing with a pointed tool or device: I teased the knot out with a pair of tweezers. The interviewer teased the truth out of the politician.