\ 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 While the winners prefer to stay under the radar, Aussie Newton-John tried to tempt model Gigi Hadid to buy the ensemble. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Olivia Newton-John's iconic Grease outfit sells at auction for $405,700," 3 Nov. 2019 Cardholders could be tempted to move to Amex's more expensive cards, Kheel added. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "American Express rebrands its iconic Green Card with new perks," 24 Oct. 2019 Clifford believes Corso might have been tempted to go for two had Clifford not pinched a nerve in his shoulder diving on a fumble only moments earlier. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "1979 Holiday Bowl oral history: Bolstered by trip to Tijuana and timely prayer, IU stunned BYU," 23 Oct. 2019 The Catholic hierarchy — which is already trying to stem the loss of credibility over the scandal of priests raping children — has long sought to paint priest-parishioner relationships as consensual and blamed the woman for tempting the priest. NBC News, "Texas grand jury declines to indict priest for sexual assault in consent case," 22 Oct. 2019 Spring There is no shortage of spring-blooming bulbs to tempt our local hummingbirds (mostly Anna’s and Allen’s hummers). Earl Nickel, SFChronicle.com, "A hummingbird garden for all the seasons," 18 Oct. 2019 Their loyalty did not appear to lead to lives of wine, women, and song, which might be enough to tempt people into following a despot. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Is Anyone Still Supporting a Supervillain like Trump?," 15 Oct. 2019 Keep in mind, part of the reason that China is such a giant, tempting market is that China's authoritarianism cuts both ways. Bill Werde, Billboard, "Banned in China: Why the Music Biz Should Be Watching NBA, 'South Park' Dramas (Guest Column)," 8 Oct. 2019 Given the copious nature of the hot dogs, the flight of the dogs ($12) sampler platter, composed of mini versions of all four of Red Top’s signature dogs, is tempting. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "This Shelby Park restaurant is home to Louisville's best hot dog," 11 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for tempt

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for tempt

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

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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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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

Comments on tempt

What made you want to look up tempt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread as a report or rumor

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