\ˈtem(p)t \
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 \ 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

And before you're tempted to try this at home, remember that the National Sleep Foundation recommends sleeping a full seven to nine hours every night. Lindsey Lanquist, SELF, "39 Morning People Share the Extremely Productive Things They Do While You’re Still Sleeping," 20 Apr. 2018 Too often, of course, things can look so great online that consumers are tempted to act first without wondering about the possibility of getting tricked by a spam email, a phony promise and some really bad customer service lines. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Amazon Prime Day: Gift cards, coupons and other scams to watch for," 14 July 2018 Toxic In another clever reinterpretation, Brit came out in an apple-red bodysuit with a glowing green jungle background, a sensuous Eve tempting her audience. Cara Kelly, USA TODAY, "Britney Spears is back on tour and you better believe she's here to work," 13 July 2018 Most recently, witness French President Emmanuel Macron’s success in tempting BlackRock and Citigroup to expand their Parisian operations, rather than investing in London. David Meyer, Fortune, "Xiaomi Surge, Trade War and Tesla, Uber and Lime: CEO Daily for July 10, 2018," 10 July 2018 The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified six senators who could potentially shift the Senate’s decision on Kavanaugh, including Republicans with pro-choice leanings, and vulnerable Democrats who might be tempted to vote conservatively. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "What You Can Do to Fight Brett Kavanaugh’s Appointment to the Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 That middle-inning weakness has also, at times, tempted Martinez to leave his starters in games a bit too long. Thomas Boswell, chicagotribune.com, "In Kelvin Herrera, Nationals may have added the final piece of a true postseason bullpen," 19 June 2018 So there are thought-provoking points in all this for about anyone — but particularly for the young who might feel sports is their only route to a prosperous life and be tempted to neglect the pesky practicality of school. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Poverty, injury and gun to his head led former K-State player Luis Colon to true calling," 16 June 2018 Though some people may be tempted to overeat, experts suggest taking it slow to avoid bloating and other gastrointestinal issues. Maritza Moulite, CNN, "Eid al-Fitr: A healthy way to break the fast," 14 June 2018

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, from Anglo-French tempter, tenter, from Latin temptare, tentare to feel, try

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Phrases Related to tempt

tempt fate

Statistics for tempt

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for tempt

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

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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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on tempt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tempt

Spanish Central: Translation of tempt

Nglish: Translation of tempt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tempt for Arabic Speakers

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