Definition of tempt in English:


Syllabification: tempt
Pronunciation: /tem(p)t


[with object]
1Entice or attempt to entice (someone) to do or acquire something that they find attractive but know to be wrong or not beneficial: don’t allow impatience to tempt you into overexposure and sunburn there’ll always be someone tempted by the rich pickings of poaching [with object and infinitive]: jobs that involve entertaining may tempt you to drink more than you intend
More example sentences
  • Sometimes, he says, the bad spirits tempt him to do wrong.
  • Their main goal in life is to entice and tempt men.
  • She tempts him to drink and he loses his precious manuscript.
1.1 (be tempted to do something) Have an urge or inclination to do something: I was tempted to look at my watch, but didn’t dare
More example sentences
  • Hospital staff were tempted to give a name to the the unknown child.
  • Some clients were tempted to take out expensive loans to pay for private dental treatment.
  • They were tempted to walk out halfway through the performance.
1.2Attract; allure: he was tempted out of retirement to save the team
More example sentences
  • Alluring aromas tempt your taste buds as the baking cools.
  • On this island, the tasty cuisine tempts.
  • The firm tempted drivers to the town by offering attractive packages.
allure, attract, appeal to, whet the appetite of;
lure, seduce, beguile, tantalize, draw
1.3 archaic Risk provoking (a deity or abstract force), usually with undesirable consequences.
More example sentences
  • He claims you're always trying to tempt God with whiskey and cigars.


Middle English: from Old French tempter 'to test', from Latin temptare 'handle, test, try'.


tempt fate (or providence)

Do something that is risky or dangerous.
More example sentences
  • He is tempting fate by messing around with a very dangerous drug.
  • I reassured her that it worked fine, which was tempting fate.
  • She was convinced that if she signed a will, she'd be tempting fate.



Pronunciation: /ˌtem(p)təˈbilitē/
( rare )
More example sentences
  • The story of Adam and Eve tells of the imperfections and temptability of man.
  • Temptability and the ability to sin are part of being human.
  • Every Christian has their own areas of temptability.


( rare )

Definition of tempt in: