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’
    • ‘They use low pricing to tempt people into drinking to excess.’
    • ‘Their main goal in life is to entice and tempt men.’
    • ‘His hair was rich and thick, tempting her to slide her hands through it.’
    • ‘Christ was tempted, yet he could not sin.’
    • ‘Sometimes, he says, the bad spirits tempt him to do wrong.’
    • ‘When drugs are easy to obtain, more people are tempted and seduced.’
    • ‘Trips to country pubs, barbecues and parties often tempt people to drink alcohol when they would not otherwise normally do.’
    • ‘She tempts him to drink and he loses his precious manuscript.’
    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 was tempted to make fun of him.’
      • ‘I am always tempted to revise more for my stronger topics.’
      • ‘We were tempted to return to our warm old hotel.’
      • ‘Even smaller companies were tempted to reward clients with treats.’
      • ‘None of them were tempted to take a dip in the river.’
      • ‘You're always tempted to order pizza late at night.’
      • ‘I was tempted to stop for ice cream.’
      • ‘I'm really tempted to buy it.’
      • ‘Hospital staff were tempted to give a name to the the unknown child.’
      • ‘I am always tempted not to contact friends who don't contact me.’
      • ‘I am tempted to lower my standards and do shoddy work.’
      • ‘There have been times when we were tempted to change location or expand.’
      • ‘When something goes wrong, you're just tempted to buy a new one.’
      • ‘I was actually tempted to convince him to come back to the band.’
      • ‘I am really tempted to steal his drinks.’
      • ‘They were tempted to walk out halfway through the performance.’
      • ‘I was nearly tempted to kill myself.’
      • ‘I have to admit that I was nearly tempted to get involved in a couple, but I did not.’
      • ‘I was tempted to just head home.’
      • ‘Some clients were tempted to take out expensive loans to pay for private dental treatment.’
    2. 1.2 Persuade (someone) to do something.
      ‘he was tempted out of retirement to save the team from relegation’
      • ‘Some product providers offer a very attractive rate to tempt new customers.’
      • ‘Alluring aromas tempt your taste buds as the baking cools.’
      • ‘This game looks fun enough to tempt me out of retirement.’
      • ‘Enticing descriptions on your menu tempt customers to try hot drinks.’
      • ‘Special offers are now so attractive they will certainly tempt tourists to our city.’
      • ‘Will the proposed financial and lifestyle benefits prove enough to tempt workers to a rural idyll?’
      • ‘The champion had been tempted out of retirement for one last fight.’
      • ‘The firm tempted drivers to the town by offering attractive packages.’
      • ‘The sight of mounds of watermelons and tender coconuts tempt you.’
      • ‘This is a tale about a pious young soldier who is tempted and seduced by a beautiful woman.’
      • ‘After some persuading he has been tempted out to a nearby cafe for this chat.’
      • ‘There are some delicious and healthy fruit drinks on the market that could tempt our children into good habits.’
      • ‘The star has been tempted out of retirement for a special show.’
      • ‘The company is always looking to tempt users to replace their PCs when faster processors hit the market.’
      • ‘On this island, the tasty cuisine tempts.’
      • ‘There are scores of intriguing recipes to tempt your clientele's palates.’
      • ‘They are tempting people in with the promise of exciting speakers or novelties.’
    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.’
      • ‘The team tempts fate by planning a victory celebration before a ball has been kicked.’
      • ‘I don't want to tempt fate, but my sore throat appears to have gone.’
      • ‘I should never have tempted fate by proudly declaring that I had never been suspended in my career.’
      • ‘It may be tempting fate to say it, but the trains have been running well these last few days.’
      • ‘He is tempting fate by messing around with a very dangerous drug.’
      • ‘I wouldn't like to tempt fate by saying I have been cured.’
      • ‘I reassured her that it worked fine, which was tempting fate.’
      • ‘Odysseus tempts his fate and risks his life.’
      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/