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

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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

Her achievement here is not to reinvent the coming-of-age narrative so much as recontextualize it, refusing the temptations of solipsism that can sometimes seep into cruel stories of youth. Justin Chang, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Moving ‘Too Late to Die Young’ opens a window on a lost Chilean summer," 13 June 2019 Another expert noted in the article that retailers get a cut of the winnings, providing additional temptation to cheat. Dee J. Hall, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Lottery winners should be identified, open government advocate contends," 6 June 2019 The Hamptons had long been a playground for the Abstract Expressionist circle, and as Pollock did several years earlier, de Kooning made the move there to escape the distractions of his increasing fame and its attendant temptation of alcohol abuse. Stephen Ellis, The New York Review of Books, "Willem de Kooning: Acrobat with a Paint Brush," 1 June 2019 More temptations await at the Hiša Franko hotel, also home to the World’s Best Female Chef of 2017, Ana Ros. Alena Hadley, National Geographic, "Taste What's Cooking Across the Globe: 10 Edible Trips," 8 Apr. 2019 And the temptations aren’t better—or more—anywhere. Condé Nast Traveler, "The World's Most Beautiful Train Stations," 10 Apr. 2018 The temptations will be greater well into the regular season, but manager Joe Maddon and new pitching coach Jim Hickey have been extremely careful about the workloads placed on their pitchers this spring. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "New Cubs closer Brandon Morrow 'ready' for season despite limited appearances in spring," 18 Mar. 2018 There will be a temptation for the president to use the pardon power to avoid criminal liability. Sean Illing, Vox, "What does Michael Cohen’s plea deal mean for Trump? I asked 9 legal experts.," 29 Nov. 2018 Go cold turkey on airport retail Just like the candy and treats dangerously close to the register at the grocery store, airside retail can be a temptation, Button says. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Buy a Souvenir You Won't Regret," 19 Sep. 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

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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Statistics for temptation

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

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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 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.

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Comments on temptation

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


showing courage and determination

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