\ 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 tempt (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 But British leaders have created such difficulties for themselves that few in Europe still worry a departure might tempt anyone else. Washington Post, "U.K. and E.U. announce a post-Brexit trade deal, smoothing Dec. 31 departure," 24 Dec. 2020 Christmas and New Year's could also tempt many Minnesotans to ignore social gathering guidelines. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Minnesota makes difficult choices as COVID cases mount," 16 Dec. 2020 The price could tempt producers from Baghdad to Oklahoma to increase production. Alex Longley, Bloomberg.com, "Oil Rises From the Ashes as the Big Coronavirus Recovery Trade," 13 Dec. 2020 Road handling is secure, though not at speeds that tempt attention from the police. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The Volkswagen ID.4. Is this the car that makes electrics go mainstream?," 5 Dec. 2020 Phishing emails, where hackers try to tempt the receiver into opening an email with an attachment or link to malicious software, are a problem, as are weak passwords and insecure home computers and Wi-Fi networks. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "Data Privacy in the Age of Online Learning," 8 Dec. 2020 Fast-food chains will tempt you with faster and more efficient takeout options and curbside pickup in 2021. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "‘Leaner and meaner’: 5 ways South Florida restaurants will adapt, survive and evolve in 2021," 25 Nov. 2020 Jennifer Aniston didn't tempt with classic holiday dishes. Susan Haas, USA TODAY, "Stars celebrate Thanksgiving: Carrie Underwood, John Legend, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber and more," 27 Nov. 2020 When your inner explorer starts to emerge, there’ll be plenty to tempt it into the open. Sunset Magazine, "Discover the Small Town Charm of Santa Rosa," 24 Nov. 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

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tempt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempt. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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