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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Synonyms for temptation


allurement, enticement, lure, seduction

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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

And possible temptation to snuggle into something familiar when braving some time alone might be better for you. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, "She really wants to see an old flame. Please talk her out of it.," 2 Jan. 2019 Why this matters: Eliminating the need to use passwords eliminates the temptation to get lazy and reuse weak passwords—a huge boon in these breach-tastic days. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Now you can sign into your Microsoft Account with your face or a security key—no password needed," 20 Nov. 2018 Not sure about you, but as the weather gets chillier and festive decorations start to appear, the temptation for a midday Gingerbread Latte becomes too sweet to refuse, so half a dollar here and there can quickly add up! Rebecca Dancer, Teen Vogue, "Starbucks Gives Away Reusable Red Holiday Cups on November 2," 2 Nov. 2018 There is so much temptation and pressure to do things that aren’t right. Louis Steptoe, USA TODAY, "Despite reunion with father, teen still celebrates what he calls 'Father Figure Day'," 15 June 2018 Many rehab participants succumbed to temptation and relapsed, stealing residents’ prescriptions. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "“Like slavery”: Rehab patients forced into unpaid labor to cover “treatment”," 22 May 2018 But eventually the temptations and the partying begin to ruin them. Ben Baskin, SI.com, "Face of the NFL? Saquon Barkley Has a Plan," 18 Apr. 2018 Lamar and his onscreen partner’s relationship faces trials, temptations and tribulations, but their connection ultimately survives. Lydia Price, PEOPLE.com, "10 of the Most Romantic Music Videos Ever," 9 Feb. 2018 In addition to the temptation of tropes, U.K. Christmas ads may now be suffering from weaker confidence among marketers, according to Mr. Rossi, the AMV BBDO executive creative director. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "The John Lewis Christmas Ad Is Here. But Is the Bauble Bursting?," 15 Nov. 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

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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means, resources, or money

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