The action or practice of tickling a person's ears to give pleasure, or of tickling an animal's ears to as a sign of affection. In later use chiefly figurative: the use of language or music primarily to delight the ear; (occasionally) an instance of this.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Wit's Magazine. From ear + tickling, after to tickle a person's ear(s).
Of a sound, phrase, etc.: delicate, light, playful, seeking to please or delight; seeming to tickle the ear.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Joshua Sylvester (d. 1618), poet and translator. From ear + tickling, after to tickle a person's ear(s).