temp·​ta·​tion | \ tem(p)-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce temptation (audio) \

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

Synonyms for temptation


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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
Recent Examples on the Web Still, Agee was candid in describing her new life as one that comes with ongoing temptation. al, 8 May 2022 The best news of the past two months is that Berlin is so far resisting this temptation. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 8 May 2022 Eating breakfast can also fend off the temptation to eat sugary and fatty snacks. Bethany Thayer, Detroit Free Press, 7 May 2022 An escalation in the temptation to use nuclear weapons to solve problems. CBS News, 30 Mar. 2022 But getting rid of the algorithmic feed would ratchet that temptation down a few notches. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 26 Apr. 2022 Emmanuel Macron won a second term as president of France, triumphing on Sunday over Marine Le Pen, his far-right challenger, after a campaign where his promise of stability prevailed over the temptation of an extremist lurch. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2022 Following your own financial limitations and resisting the temptation to make poor decisions dictated by emotions. John Hall, Forbes, 24 Apr. 2022 China’s top leaders, apparently aware that a loss of morale in Shanghai could undermine its insistence on a zero-covid policy, often speak of the need for residents and officials to steel themselves against the temptation to give in. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of temptation

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for temptation

Middle English temptacioun "testing, enticement to sin," borrowed from Anglo-French tentacion, borrowed from Late Latin temptātiōn-, temptātiō "enticement to sin," going back to Latin, "attempt, attack," from temptāre "to feel, test, attempt, make an assault on, attack" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at tempt

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

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Temptation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temptation. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for temptation


temp·​ta·​tion | \ temp-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce temptation (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on temptation

Nglish: Translation of temptation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of temptation for Arabic Speakers


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