Is there a word (or a better sentence) to describe the following concept:

Enticing someone by letting them know you have the information they seek, yet smugly refuse to divulge it.

2 Answers 2


The verb tantalize is relevant. Wiktionary shows two senses:
• to tease (someone) by offering something desirable but keeping it out of reach
• to bait (someone) by showing something desirable but leaving them unsatisfied

Note, in the latter of those senses, bait is used to mean teasing, luring, or enticing someone with something they apparently desire, but keeping it out of their reach.


When you deliberately (apparently) promise someone favours, money, position, information . . . but then fail to deliver, it's called leading them on.

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