1 of 2


: an object usually of leather or feathers attached to a long cord and used by a falconer to recall or exercise a hawk
: an inducement to pleasure or gain : enticement
the lure of adventure
the lure of her beauty
: appeal, attraction
may succumb to the lure of candy, sodas and other sweetsCheryl Jennings-Sauer
: a decoy for attracting animals to capture: such as
: artificial bait used for catching fish
: an often luminous (see luminous sense 1a) structure on the head of pediculate fishes that is used to attract prey


2 of 2


lured; luring

transitive verb

: to recall or exercise (a hawk) by means of a lure
: to draw with a hint of pleasure or gain : attract actively and strongly
Choose the Right Synonym for lure

lure, entice, inveigle, decoy, tempt, seduce mean to lead astray from one's true course.

lure implies a drawing into danger, evil, or difficulty through attracting and deceiving.

lured naive investors with get-rich-quick schemes

entice suggests drawing by artful or adroit means.

advertising designed to entice new customers

inveigle implies enticing by cajoling or flattering.

fund-raisers inveigling wealthy alumni

decoy implies a luring into entrapment by artifice.

attempting to decoy the enemy into an ambush

tempt implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of conscience or better judgment.

tempted by the offer of money

seduce implies a leading astray by persuasion or false promises.

seduced by assurances of assistance

Examples of lure in a Sentence

Noun the promise of easy money is always the lure for some people to play the lottery the fish simply didn't seem to like the lure I was using, so I didn't catch a thing Verb They lured the bear out of its den. The suburbs are luring middle-class families away from the city. The police lured him back to the scene of the crime. Explorers were lured to the area by tales of a city of gold. An attractive window display can help to lure shoppers into the store.
Recent Examples on the Web
Born to a New Orleans Creole family, he was raised in a musically sophisticated household, where French opera was revered but the lure of the blues floated temptingly just outside his front door. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 4 June 2024 Typically, a 3/8-ounce tandem spinnerbait like the Nichols Catalyst Colorado Willow spinnerbait is a great lure to try in a river. Shaye Baker, Field & Stream, 23 May 2024
Heat, Soot and Steel: To lure visitors, residents of Yoshida, famed for its high-quality steel, are inviting tourists to help produce it. Yan Zhuang, New York Times, 7 June 2024 The number is led by the Emcee, the metaphorical character who lures audiences into the Kit Kat Klub’s bewitching debauchery while alerting them to the looming catastrophe. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, 7 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for lure 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lure.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French lure, leure, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle High German luoder bait; perhaps akin to Old English lathian to invite, Old High German ladōn

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lure was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lure

Cite this Entry

“Lure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: something that persuades one to perform an action for pleasure or gain : temptation
: a decoy for attracting animals to capture
especially : an artificial bait used for catching fish


2 of 2 verb
lured; luring
: to tempt or lead away by offering some pleasure or advantage : entice

More from Merriam-Webster on lure

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