Definition of tempt in English:

tempt

verb

[with object]
  • 1Entice or try to entice (someone) to do something that they find attractive but know to be wrong or unwise.

    ‘there'll always be someone tempted by the rich pickings of poaching’
    with object and infinitive ‘jobs which involve entertaining may tempt you to drink more than you intend’
    • ‘Trips to country pubs, barbecues and parties often tempt people to drink alcohol when they would not otherwise normally do.’
    • ‘Sometimes, he says, the bad spirits tempt him to do wrong.’
    • ‘They use low pricing to tempt people into drinking to excess.’
    • ‘She tempts him to drink and he loses his precious manuscript.’
    • ‘His hair was rich and thick, tempting her to slide her hands through it.’
    • ‘When drugs are easy to obtain, more people are tempted and seduced.’
    • ‘Christ was tempted, yet he could not sin.’
    • ‘Their main goal in life is to entice and tempt men.’
    entice, persuade, convince, inveigle, induce, cajole, coax, woo
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1be tempted to do something Have an urge or inclination to do something.
      ‘I was tempted to look at my watch, but didn't dare’
      • ‘I am tempted to lower my standards and do shoddy work.’
      • ‘I was tempted to stop for ice cream.’
      • ‘I was tempted to make fun of him.’
      • ‘None of them were tempted to take a dip in the river.’
      • ‘I was nearly tempted to kill myself.’
      • ‘I was tempted to just head home.’
      • ‘There have been times when we were tempted to change location or expand.’
      • ‘I was actually tempted to convince him to come back to the band.’
      • ‘You're always tempted to order pizza late at night.’
      • ‘I am really tempted to steal his drinks.’
      • ‘They were tempted to walk out halfway through the performance.’
      • ‘Hospital staff were tempted to give a name to the the unknown child.’
      • ‘When something goes wrong, you're just tempted to buy a new one.’
      • ‘I have to admit that I was nearly tempted to get involved in a couple, but I did not.’
      • ‘We were tempted to return to our warm old hotel.’
      • ‘I am always tempted to revise more for my stronger topics.’
      • ‘Even smaller companies were tempted to reward clients with treats.’
      • ‘Some clients were tempted to take out expensive loans to pay for private dental treatment.’
      • ‘I am always tempted not to contact friends who don't contact me.’
      • ‘I'm really tempted to buy it.’
    2. 1.2 Persuade (someone) to do something.
      ‘he was tempted out of retirement to save the team from relegation’
      • ‘Will the proposed financial and lifestyle benefits prove enough to tempt workers to a rural idyll?’
      • ‘There are scores of intriguing recipes to tempt your clientele's palates.’
      • ‘The company is always looking to tempt users to replace their PCs when faster processors hit the market.’
      • ‘They are tempting people in with the promise of exciting speakers or novelties.’
      • ‘This game looks fun enough to tempt me out of retirement.’
      • ‘The firm tempted drivers to the town by offering attractive packages.’
      • ‘Special offers are now so attractive they will certainly tempt tourists to our city.’
      • ‘The sight of mounds of watermelons and tender coconuts tempt you.’
      • ‘Alluring aromas tempt your taste buds as the baking cools.’
      • ‘There are some delicious and healthy fruit drinks on the market that could tempt our children into good habits.’
      • ‘Enticing descriptions on your menu tempt customers to try hot drinks.’
      • ‘On this island, the tasty cuisine tempts.’
      • ‘After some persuading he has been tempted out to a nearby cafe for this chat.’
      • ‘The star has been tempted out of retirement for a special show.’
      • ‘Some product providers offer a very attractive rate to tempt new customers.’
      • ‘This is a tale about a pious young soldier who is tempted and seduced by a beautiful woman.’
      • ‘The champion had been tempted out of retirement for one last fight.’
    3. 1.3archaic Risk provoking (a deity or abstract force), usually with undesirable consequences.
      ‘how is it that ye have agreed together, to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?’
      • ‘He claims you're always trying to tempt God with whiskey and cigars.’

Phrases

  • tempt fate (or providence)

    • Do something that is risky or dangerous.

      ‘bike couriers tempt fate at every traffic light’
      • ‘She was convinced that if she signed a will, she'd be tempting fate.’
      • ‘It may be tempting fate to say it, but the trains have been running well these last few days.’
      • ‘I don't want to tempt fate, but my sore throat appears to have gone.’
      • ‘I wouldn't like to tempt fate by saying I have been cured.’
      • ‘Odysseus tempts his fate and risks his life.’
      • ‘I reassured her that it worked fine, which was tempting fate.’
      • ‘He is tempting fate by messing around with a very dangerous drug.’
      • ‘The team tempts fate by planning a victory celebration before a ball has been kicked.’
      • ‘I should never have tempted fate by proudly declaring that I had never been suspended in my career.’
      run a risk, live dangerously, play with fire, sail close to the wind, risk it
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French tempter ‘to test’, from Latin temptare ‘handle, test, try’.

Pronunciation

tempt

/tɛm(p)t/