temptation

noun

temp·​ta·​tion tem(p)-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce temptation (audio)
1
: the act of tempting or the state of being tempted especially to evil : enticement
2
: something tempting : a cause or occasion of enticement

Example Sentences

Money is always a temptation. The dessert menu has a lot of delicious temptations. the temptations of the city
Recent Examples on the Web But truth be told, the redshirt seniors, who resisted the transfer portal’s temptation to play all five seasons at USD, are inseparable best of friends. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2022 In any artisanal product, there’s always a temptation for craft to take over from design. Alexander Freeling, Robb Report, 7 Nov. 2022 There’s a temptation to think about life only through the lens of the present and future. Faith Bottum, WSJ, 27 Oct. 2022 Pope Francis warned priests and nuns against watching pornography online and urged them to delete it from their phones to avoid falling into temptation. Ellen Francis, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2022 Pope Francis warned priests and nuns against watching pornography online and urged them to delete it from their phones to avoid falling into temptation. Ellen Francis, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Oct. 2022 When indulgent Venus and rebellious Uranus scuffle, watch out for temptation around every corner! Chicago Tribune, 13 Oct. 2022 New-car temptation will come in many forms—with electricity, old-fashioned gas grunt, or a combo of both—to your covetous heart and, manufacturers hope, your garage. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 10 Oct. 2022 But with a beat this infectious, how are you supposed to stay away from temptation? Gwen Ihnat, EW.com, 5 Oct. 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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near temptation

Cite this Entry

“Temptation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temptation. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

temptation

noun

temp·​ta·​tion tem(p)-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce temptation (audio)
1
: the act of tempting : the state of being tempted especially to evil
2
: something tempting

More from Merriam-Webster on temptation

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