\ ˈtem(p)t How to pronounce tempt (audio) \
tempted; tempting; tempts

Definition of tempt

transitive verb

1 : to entice to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain
2a : to induce to do something
b : to cause to be strongly inclined was tempted to call it quits
3a : to try presumptuously : provoke tempt fate
b : to risk the dangers of
c obsolete : to make trial of : test

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Other Words from tempt

temptable \ ˈtem(p)-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce temptable (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for tempt

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 tempt in a Sentence

that chocolate dessert sure tempts me, but I should stick with my diet refusing to lay in enough food for the long winter tempts the dangers of starvation
Recent Examples on the Web To their credit, the Heat did tempt the Lakers into a Finals-record 47 3-point attempts. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Did Game 2 offer hints on Heat free-agency future?," 3 Oct. 2020 That will require teams to go with a full five-person rotation (or tempt fate and tiring out arms in a series without off-days with a bullpen game). Michael Rand, Star Tribune, "Twins starting pitching is set up for a trip to World Series if ...," 22 Sep. 2020 No, a smattering of edible flowers, sea salt or sprinkles doesn’t tempt me. Odette Williams, WSJ, "This Chocolate Cake Recipe Is So Good, It Needs No Frosting," 17 Sep. 2020 Slouchy bottoms are the perfect antidote to fitted tops, so offsetting a structured blouse with cargo pants may finally tempt you out of your comfiest black leggings. Shanna Shipin, Glamour, "The 31 Best Cargo Pants for Women," 16 Sep. 2020 Ideally, a child’s school device has no playtime apps or games to tempt them, and there are controls on surfing the Internet. Vicky Hallett, National Geographic, "Zooming in on keeping kids focused," 3 Sep. 2020 The trees tempt my eyes, inviting that branching meditation, the feel of spread synapses and hierarchical logics. Paul Di Filippo, Washington Post, "In Ros Anderson’s ‘The Hierarchies,’ a robotic heroine longs for a better life," 30 Aug. 2020 In a nod to the big-picture realities of the pandemic, the bored Millennials tempt fate with their nonchalance toward an unseen danger. Elizabeth Horkley, The Atlantic, "The First Great ‘Quarantine Horror’ Movie Has Arrived," 19 Aug. 2020 Driven moderately, the Roma is a superb cruiser that doesn't really tempt the driver to hunt down and pass every other car on the road. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "2021 Ferrari Roma Can Run as Well as It Can Pose," 9 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tempt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tempt

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tempt

Middle English tempten "to test, incite to sin, attempt," borrowed from Anglo-French tempter, temter, tenter, going back to Latin temptāre, tentāre "to feel, test, examine, attempt, make an assault on, attack" (Late Latin, "to incite to sin"), perhaps frequentative derivative from an Indo-European verbal base *temp- "stretch, extend" (hence, "grope for, feel") — more at tempo

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Time Traveler for tempt

Time Traveler

The first known use of tempt was in the 13th century

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Statistics for tempt

Last Updated

7 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tempt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempt. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for tempt


How to pronounce tempt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tempt

: to cause (someone) to do or want to do something even though it may be wrong, bad, or unwise


\ ˈtempt How to pronounce tempt (audio) \
tempted; tempting

Kids Definition of tempt

: to consider or cause to consider doing something wrong or unwise Sometimes in nice weather, she is tempted to skip school. He tempted me to cheat.

Other Words from tempt

tempter noun

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Comments on tempt

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