\ 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 tempt (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 Gaining the attention of potential new customers with seasonal ads and offers can be a good way to tempt them into doing business with you for the first time. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 As things currently stand, there is probably insufficient political — or, given the influence of ESG, capital markets’ — support to tempt companies into spending the money that this would take. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 3 Oct. 2021 Though the view of the ocean will tempt you, the Tween Waters marina is just behind you on the bay, with boat rentals and kayak tours available right off property. Will Mcgough, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 Don’t tempt McConnell and the Republicans—and the right-wing media, which in mid-October will be spreading the lie that the debt is entirely the fault of the tax-and-spend Democrats. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 20 Sep. 2021 But then, as is doomed to occur at every party, pasty glam grumps Austin Sommers (Evan Peters) and Belle Noir (Frances Conroy) tempt Harry to dip his tip-tappy Word doc fingers into the black-pill candy jar. Kelly Mcclure, Vulture, 26 Aug. 2021 In fact, the Bible itself admonishes those who would tempt the Lord, demanding miracles of God when there are practical solutions right in front of us. Kyle Whitmire, al, 28 July 2021 Single-player feels more fluid and stable, but there’s less to tempt you into playing Piepacker on your own. Simon Hill, Wired, 12 Aug. 2021 That has prompted local officials to tempt more people to get jabs by offering everything from free beer to amusement park tickets. Ryan Dube, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near tempt

tempo turn



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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tempt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempt. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for tempt



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

More from Merriam-Webster on tempt

Nglish: Translation of tempt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tempt for Arabic Speakers


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