Definition of tempt in English:


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


[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.
  • 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
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    • 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.


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.
run a risk, live dangerously, play with fire, sail close to the wind, risk it



Pronunciation: /-ˈbɪlɪti/
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.




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

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