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
The lure with Archway was selling as-is, and quickly. Archway Homes, Kansas City Star, 7 Apr. 2024 They can be worked slowly and kept in the strike zone; crappie may still be sensitive to cold water and not willing to move too far or fast to chase a lure. Don Wirth, Field & Stream, 4 Apr. 2024 Europe’s green manufacturers face the lure of attractive US subsidies on the one hand and competition from cheap Chinese products on the other. John Ainger, Fortune Europe, 2 Apr. 2024 More than any single country, Guyana demonstrates the struggle between the consequences of climate change and the lure of the oil economy. Gaiutra Bahadur Keisha Scarville, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2024 Blinken has been trying to hammer out a plan to present to Israeli leaders that would trade the lure of normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia with Israel’s consent to a Palestinian state. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2024 For vets, who face average student debts of over $188,000, the lure of better pay is strong. Sunny Nagpaul, Fortune, 28 Feb. 2024 The winning lure will be announced on Friday, March 29. Shaye Baker, Field & Stream, 20 Mar. 2024 For many 22- to 27-year-olds, known as Generation Z, their average student debt of more than $20,000 and the lure of higher-paying Wall Street and Silicon Valley firms means the time and effort required to become a CPA doesn’t pencil out. Jo Constantz, Fortune, 1 Mar. 2024
The market for electric vehicles has slowed down recently, and Ford is taking aim at the top EV maker, offering a special rebate to lure Tesla owners. Jason Ma, Fortune, 13 Apr. 2024 Sometimes the President puts on sunglasses and stands in a half column, pondering levels of reality, but Fletcher’s mad doctor always lures him back, away from contemplation. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 13 Apr. 2024 As extremely intelligent whales, orcas even use the coloring on their bellies to lure in their prey. Elizabeth Gamillo, Discover Magazine, 12 Apr. 2024 In May of 2014, Weier and Geyser lured Leutner, also 12, into the woods following a sleepover, PEOPLE reported previously. Samira Asma-Sadeque, Peoplemag, 12 Apr. 2024 Payton Leutner stabbed in the woods After a sleepover on May 31, 2014, the girls lure Leutner into the woods and attack her. Jim Riccioli, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2024 Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna stepped to the podium in May 1997 to announce plans to build a stadium in downtown Sacramento that could lure a Major League baseball team to the city. Sam Stanton, Sacramento Bee, 5 Apr. 2024 Prosecutors believe that Ervin used his girlfriend to lure Sayers to the home and rob him. Jade Thomas, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Apr. 2024 Five people have now been convicted in the death of a 23-year-old Michigan woman, including the man accused of luring her to the location where she was killed, authorities said. Mike Stunson, Kansas City Star, 3 Apr. 2024

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 19 Apr. 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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