Definition of temptation in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /tɛm(p)ˈteɪʃ(ə)n/


1The desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise: he resisted the temptation to call Celia at the office [mass noun]: we almost gave in to temptation
More example sentences
  • So James tells us where we must look for the source of our temptations to do wrong.
  • This division causes man to feel a dual temptation, the desire to rise to God and the downward pull of Satan.
  • In other words, once we are in heaven with all the saints, all temptations and all desires for sin will be done away with.
desire, urge, itch, impulse, inclination
1.1A thing that attracts or tempts someone: the temptations of life in London
More example sentences
  • I have in the past succumbed to temptation, lured by attractive coloured labels.
  • Stripped of our comforts and distractions, we continue to face our strongest temptations.
  • From furniture to fashion, the wide array of stalls offer great temptations to those with a discerning taste.
lure, allurement, enticement, seduction, attraction, draw, pull, invitation;
bait, decoy, snare, trap, siren song
informal come-on
allure, appeal, attraction, attractiveness, fascination
1.2 (the Temptation) The tempting of Jesus by the Devil (see Matt. 4).


Middle English: from Old French temptacion, from Latin temptatio(n-), from temptare 'handle, test, try'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: temp|ta¦tion

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.