\ 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

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 After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Art San Diego Contemporary Art and Design Fair will return this weekend with a promise of creations to tempt local collectors and to show the general public what is new in the art and design world. Lilia O’hara, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Sep. 2022 The information on these texts might be confusing and crafted in a way to tempt someone to engage quickly. Susan Tompor, USA TODAY, 24 Aug. 2022 The information on these texts might be confusing and crafted in a way to tempt someone to engage quickly. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 23 Aug. 2022 On has been on the rise as a running shoe, but, no need to tempt dad with actual running. Cassell Ferere, Forbes, 8 June 2022 The parent plans to float up to 25% of the equity in ThyssenKrupp Nucera, a leading supplier of machinery needed to produce the gas, and aims to tempt sustainably-minded investors with a growing order book already worth €900 million. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 19 Jan. 2022 Rustic picnic tables and sandstone blocks placed at intervals along these trails tempt hikers to sit for a spell. Rich Heileman, cleveland, 26 Aug. 2022 Sharp discounts at Gap should tempt customers, but perhaps not investors. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, 26 Aug. 2022 Both the talking fox Honest John (Keegan-Michael Key) and the terrifying Coachman (Luke Evans) tempt Pinocchio from the path of goodness. Christian Holub, EW.com, 24 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near tempt

tempo turn



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Last Updated

26 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tempt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempt. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for tempt


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on tempt

Nglish: Translation of tempt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tempt for Arabic Speakers


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