Definition of tempt in English:
- 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.
- 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.
- This game looks fun enough to tempt me out of retirement.
- They are tempting people in with the promise of exciting speakers or novelties.
- After some persuading he has been tempted out to a nearby cafe for this chat.
Tempt goes back to Latin temptare ‘to test, try’, which is the sense in the expression tempt Providence. To be unwise enough to test Providence, or your luck, is to invite misfortune. In the Middle Ages temptation was particularly used in relation to the biblical story, in the Gospel of Matthew, of Jesus being tempted to sin by the Devil when he spent 40 days in the wilderness. Modern temptations are generally more trivial urges to indulge yourself. In 1892 Oscar Wilde wrote: ‘I can resist everything except temptation’ (Lady Windermere's Fan). Attempt (Late Middle English) is from the same root.
tempt fate (or providence)
- Do something that is risky or dangerous: bike couriers tempt fate at every traffic lightMore 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.
- 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.
Words that rhyme with temptattempt, contempt, dreamt, exempt, kempt, pre-empt
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.