Definition of tempt in English:

tempt

Line breaks: tempt
Pronunciation: /tɛm(p)t
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Entice or try to entice (someone) to do something that they find attractive but know to be wrong or unwise: there’ll always be someone tempted by the rich pickings of poaching [with object and infinitive]: jobs which 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.
Synonyms
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.
1.2Persuade (someone) to do something: he was tempted out of retirement to save the team from relegation
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.3 archaic Risk provoking (a deity or abstract force), usually with undesirable consequences: how is it that ye have agreed together, to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?
More example sentences
  • He claims you're always trying to tempt God with whiskey and cigars.

Origin

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

Phrases

tempt fate (or providence)

Do something that is risky or dangerous: bike couriers tempt fate at every traffic light
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.
Synonyms
run a risk, live dangerously, play with fire, sail close to the wind, risk it

Derivatives

temptability

Pronunciation: /-ˈbɪlɪti/
noun
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.

temptable

adjective

Definition of tempt in:

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