\ 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 The answer is different for everyone, of course, but those tempted to the creative path can take a lot of artistic inspiration from High Flying Bird, which Soderbergh shot himself entirely through iPhone cameras. Christian Holub, EW.com, "Why Netflix’s High Flying Bird is the perfect post-Last Dance quarantine watch," 20 May 2020 My brother also felt alarmed that his own church members and leaders in other churches might be tempted to buy into it. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "I’m an Investigative Journalist. These Are the Questions I Asked About the Viral “Plandemic” Video.," 9 May 2020 Some patient advocates and industry experts fear the premium pay could tempt home operators to bring in more lucrative COVID-19 patients, despite the obvious health risks to residents and staff. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Deaths, warnings and the push to reopen," 4 May 2020 But crude’s recent drop to historic lows is tempting investors to bet against currency pegs once again. Avantika Chilkoti, WSJ, "Investors Bet Oil Crash Will Weaken Middle East Currency Pegs," 1 May 2020 The goal is to avoid situations in which residents in one state are tempted to travel to a neighboring one to visit a specific type of business — such as a barbershop or greenhouse — that is closed in their home state. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "When Wisconsin's safer-at-home order might end, how the state might reopen and answers to other questions," 29 Apr. 2020 Outdoorsmen who might be tempted to scoff at portable commodes have clearly never tried to dig a latrine in ground that’s rock-solid frozen, or been stuck in an ice-fishing shack over a long weekend, with the nearest port-a-john nowhere in sight. Outdoor Life, "Reliable camping toilets for when nature calls," 23 Apr. 2020 Keim shouldn't go O-line or receiver Keim will be tempted to take an offensive tackle. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim should focus on defense at NFL draft," 23 Apr. 2020 Many biblical figures underwent a period of isolation or testing for 40 days and nights, as when Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, or Jesus fasted and was tempted in the wilderness. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "Self-isolation has its roots in ancient times," 23 Apr. 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

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tempt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempt. Accessed 29 May. 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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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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