temp·​ta·​tion | \tem(p)-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of temptation 

1 : the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil : enticement

2 : something tempting : a cause or occasion of enticement

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Examples of temptation in a Sentence

Money is always a temptation. The dessert menu has a lot of delicious temptations. the temptations of the city
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Recent Examples on the Web

There’s a temptation to expect that was intentional, coming from the writer of Midnighter, but was that particularly present when coming up with the line-up? Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Justice League of America' Writer Dissects a Year of Storytelling," 27 Apr. 2018 Get our daily newsletter But the ease and cheapness of trading, along with the vast range of options available, create a terrible temptation. The Economist, "Technology can tackle investors’ flaws," 26 Apr. 2018 And frantic growers face an even greater temptation to illegally leak excess grass across state lines—and into the cross hairs of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "One Consequences of Cannabis Legalization is Market Saturation," 21 Apr. 2018 More than anything, try to avoid temptation to bring a change of outfits. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "7 Tips for Packing All the Right Clothing for Your First Backpacking Trip," 24 Oct. 2018 For the economy to get full benefit from the current period of prolonged growth, businesses need to take the opportunity to invest in the future—and resist the temptation to push stock buybacks beyond already record levels. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Xiaomi Flop, Brexit Resignation, Formula Lobbying: CEO Daily for July 9, 2018," 9 July 2018 The temptation for us journalists is to call it a reset . . Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Proenza Schouler Is Back at New York Fashion Week, With “Real” Clothes That “Might Be a Little Polarizing”," 10 Sep. 2018 The temptation to operate on assumptions when facing off against an unknown adversary is real and toxic, so cleanse it from your system. Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "5 (pretty easy) steps to improve civility online," 6 July 2018 The temptation is to write Debbie’s response off to resentment (Debbie’s ex-husband cheated on her with Ruth), selfishness, naïveté or internalized sexism. James Poniewozik, kansascity, "Netflix’s ‘Glow’ brings #MeToo to the 1980s," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'temptation.' 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 temptation

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for temptation

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for temptation

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

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More Definitions for temptation



English Language Learners Definition of temptation

: a strong urge or desire to have or do something

: something that causes a strong urge or desire to have or do something and especially something that is bad, wrong, or unwise


temp·​ta·​tion | \temp-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of temptation

1 : the act of considering or causing to consider doing something wrong or unwise

2 : a strong desire a temptation for candy

3 : something that causes a strong desire The money was a temptation.

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Comments on temptation

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to enclose within walls

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