The word, tantalize, comes from a Greek mythological story about the eternal punishment of someone named Tantulus. He was made to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree. But when he reached up for the fruit, it withdrew just out of his reach. And when he bent down to drink, the water receded before his lips could reach it.
There’s a Mercator girl in a tantalizingly flimsy dress eyeing me from the door leading to the crowded garden.
Sabaa Tahir -- An Ember in the Ashes
Clary had dropped her stele; it lay feet away in the filthy snow, shining with a tantalizing glimmer.
Cassandra Clare -- City of Heavenly Fire
I couldn’t believe that she, the keeper of so many terrifying and tantalizing secrets, was taking me into her confidence.
Piper Kerman -- Orange Is the New Black
The whole day struck him as a tantalizing dance, in which each of them had taken turns leading, one pushing, the other pulling, and vice versa.
Nicholas Sparks -- The Choice
Or maybe Zeus was manipulating my brain—allowing me tantalizing glimpses of the truth, then snatching them away, turning my aha! moments into huh? moments.
Rick Riordan -- The Trials of Apollo
When he heard her on the phone crying and carrying on about Steve, about Arthur, about the whole family falling apart, Tewky flew in and took charge, presenting her with a tantalizing idea.
Judy Blume -- In the Unlikely Event
The dense brown forest on either side never seemed to vary, and ahead there was only a new bend in the river to tantalize her.
Elizabeth George Speare -- The Witch of Blackbird Pond
It clattered to a stop, still a few tantalizing feet away.
Sarah J. Maas -- Throne of Glass
The sounds and smells of the tantalizing May afternoon drifted in through the window.
Ji-Li Jiang -- Red Scarf Girl
Cristian’s brief glimpses of a world filled with knowledge tantalized him.
Joshua Davis -- Spare Parts
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The faster he plants kisses all over my neck, the faster we move together—creating a tantalizing rhythm between us that, according to my pulse, isn’t going to last much longer.
Colleen Hoover -- Hopeless
The tantalizing odor reached our meat-starved palates.
Corrie Ten Boom -- The Hiding Place
I wanted only for Nathan to arrive with news of his triumph and an explanation for this unbearably tantalizing mystery.
William Styron -- Sophie’s Choice
The Herald Tribune had no news of my predicament but the story was all over the Dutch papers, dense blocks of foreign print which hung, tantalizingly, just beyond the reach of my comprehension.
Donna Tartt -- The Goldfinch
But listening to her cogently mapping out what we needed to indict, a tantalizing thought took hold of me.
James Patterson -- 1st to Die
He moves as an animal, and a fury is riding in him, a tantalized search.
Arthur Miller -- The Crucible
The news had been tantalizing, but frustrating.
Laura Hillenbrand -- Unbroken
But I swore I wouldn’t tell it and here I am tantalizing you.
F. Scott Fitzgerald -- The Great Gatsby
Yet in this very repugnance to all his circumstances Pierre found a kind of tantalizing satisfaction.
Leo Tolstoy -- War and Peace
My mind is spinning with new information about the uprising in District 8 and the unlikely but tantalizing possibility of District 13.
Suzanne Collins -- Catching Fire
For dangling before her, tantalizingly, what He knew would give her the greatest happiness, then pulling it away.
Khaled Hosseini -- A Thousand Splendid Suns
It was during one of those late nights that Eddie Diamond first brought up the tantalizing possibility.
Tim O’Brien -- The Things They Carried
And yet, when the tarts were divided among ten girls you just got enough to tantalize you.
Lucy Maud Montgomery -- Anne Of Green Gables
She would be a tantalizing end to a perfect day.
Dan Brown -- Angels & Demons
She looked both familiar and tantalizingly foreign.
Nicholas Sparks -- The Lucky One
But the diary notation that most tantalized Dewey was unrelated to the Clutter-Rupp, Methodist-Catholic impasse.
Truman Capote -- In Cold Blood
Huckleberry Finn they saved for me until the third grade, tantalizingly holding it back as if it contained the very secrets of life.
Homer Hickam -- October Sky
I cannot imagine what you mean, and to talk of bread where there are no ovens is only tantalizing.’
Johann Wyss -- The Swiss Family Robinson
She was beginning to recognize some of them—they tantalized her sight the way half-heard words in a foreign language sometimes tantalized her hearing, as if by just concentrating harder she could force some meaning out of them.
Cassandra Clare -- City of Bones
He tried to use the flagging power of his memory to recreate meals, and managed brief, tantalizing fragments: banquets with huge roasted meats; birthday parties with thick-frosted cakes; and lush fruits picked and eaten, sunwarmed and dripping, from trees.
Lois Lowry -- The Giver
Maybe Da Vinci’s plethora of tantalizing clues was nothing but an empty promise left behind to frustrate the curious and bring a smirk to the face of his knowing Mona Lisa.
Dan Brown -- The Da Vinci Code
I knew the gifts I already had were not those of which friends had thrown out such tantalizing hints, and my teacher said the presents I was to have would be even nicer than these.
Helen Keller -- Story of My Life
Or, tantalizingly, It was toilet cleaner she used.
Margaret Atwood -- The Handmaid’s Tale
Hester felt herself, in some indistinct and tantalizing manner, estranged from Pearl, as if the child, in her lonely ramble through the forest, had strayed out of the sphere in which she and her mother dwelt together, and was now vainly seeking to return to it.
Nathaniel Hawthorne -- The Scarlet Letter
"Come on," Harry hissed, swerving tantalizingly above her, "come on, come and get me…. up you get now…. " And then she reared, spreading her great, black, leathery wings at last, as wide as those of a small airplane — and Harry dived.
J.K. Rowling -- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Where the worm had passed there remained that tantalizing gap.
Frank Herbert -- Dune
His suspicions aroused by the two birth certificates and the tantalizing problem they presented, Adam began to question the familiar, everyday events of his life, and the comings and goings of his mother and father.
Robert Cormier -- I Am the Cheese
More tantalizing, though, is some preliminary evidence that the two problems might have the same genetic root.
Malcolm Gladwell -- The Tipping Point
But when he had climbed down and untied his horse from the back of the buggy and stood in the twilight road, grinning tantalizingly at her, she could not smother her own grin as she drove off.
Margaret Mitchell -- Gone with the Wind
Lately, he had assured himself that the altered comrade would not tantalize him with a persistent curiosity, but he felt certain that during the first period of leisure his friend would ask him to relate his adventures of the previous day.
Stephen Crane -- The Red Badge of Courage
The venison cooked with a tantalizing odor.
Hal Borland -- When the Legends Die
He could picture, as he walked, the kind of underclothing they wore against their svelte feminine parts, filmy, smooth, clinging garments of deepest black or of opalescent pastel radiance with flowering lace borders fragrant with the tantalizing fumes of pampered flesh and scented bath salts rising in a germinating cloud from their blue-white breasts.
Joseph Heller -- Catch-22
And this thought it must have been which suggested to Ahab that wild exclamation of his, when one morning turning away from surveying poor Queequeg—"Oh, devilish tantalization of the gods!"
Herman Melville -- Moby Dick
Steerforth was considerate, too; and showed his consideration, in one particular instance, in an unflinching manner that was a little tantalizing, I suspect, to poor Traddles and the rest.
Charles Dickens -- David Copperfield
We had already made peace with our lot, and you have to tantalize us with the specter of a hope we had abandoned.
Christopher Paolini -- Brisingr
For me, a middle child among the eight, the mystery was tantalizing.
James Bradley -- Flags of Our Fathers
There was in his eyes a pensive, brooding amusement, as of a man who had been long confronted and tantalized by a riddle whose answer seemed always just on the verge of escaping him, but prodding him irresistibly on to seek its solution.
Richard Wright -- Native Son
It is not clear what Homer meant by this tantalizing fragment of a tradition, but as early as the fourth century B.C. Italian historians decided that this story had to be grafted onto the tale of Romulus and Remus to give their city an ancient and royal origin.
Homer -- The Iliad
But her faith in the good spot which exists in the heart of the naughtiest, sauciest, most tantalizing little ragamuffin gave her patience, skill, and in time success, for no mortal boy could hold out long with Father Bhaer shining on him as benevolently as the sun, and Mother Bhaer forgiving him seventy times seven.
Louisa May Alcott -- Little Women
Up to this moment it could not positively have been asserted that the man, in spite of his tantalizing declaration, was really in earnest.