Definition of temptation in English:



  • 1The desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.

    ‘he resisted the temptation to call Celia at the office’
    [mass noun] ‘we almost gave in to temptation’
    • ‘He resisted all the temptations embraced by most modern travelers and explorers to carry elaborate equipment, study the area in detail and learn the language.’
    • ‘You can then refer back to the list when you feel like a cigarette and it will help you to resist the temptation.’
    • ‘I'm going to resist the temptation to describe it and instead I'll let my pictures do the talking.’
    • ‘I resisted the strong temptation to tell him to go jump off a cliff, and kept quiet.’
    • ‘I've resisted the temptation to tune into any of Miami's sporting chat shows over the past seven days.’
    • ‘It is far better, therefore, to resist the temptation to make broad ranging policy statements.’
    • ‘Lily says she resists the great temptations but the little ones pull her down.’
    • ‘This division causes man to feel a dual temptation, the desire to rise to God and the downward pull of Satan.’
    • ‘Politicians should resist the temptation to isolate themselves from the people they govern.’
    • ‘So James tells us where we must look for the source of our temptations to do wrong.’
    • ‘They resisted the temptation to strip back the stonework, choosing instead to leave it whitewashed.’
    • ‘Unlike certain other New World countries, Chile has so far resisted the temptation to push up its prices.’
    • ‘Members of the public must also recognise that they have a role to play in stamping out graft and must therefore resist all temptations to engage in the scourge.’
    • ‘Resist the temptation to buy extended warranties when purchasing electrical equipment.’
    • ‘Even teachers with stiff upper lips could not resist their temptation to do a jig.’
    • ‘It sounds basic, but it was important to resist the temptation to overfill the programme.’
    • ‘In other words, once we are in heaven with all the saints, all temptations and all desires for sin will be done away with.’
    • ‘It was hard to resist the temptation to eat the oranges as fast as we picked them.’
    • ‘And no one can resist the temptation to sprint along the sand and leap into the ocean.’
    • ‘Try to resist the temptation of eating the roasted walnuts before you need them!’
    desire, urge, itch, impulse, inclination
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    1. 1.1A thing that attracts or tempts someone.
      ‘the temptations of life in London’
      • ‘So stay close to him, and watch as the devil flees and his temptations become less and less attractive.’
      • ‘The gluttonous greed of the Cookie Monster can never resist the temptation of cookies.’
      • ‘From furniture to fashion, the wide array of stalls offer great temptations to those with a discerning taste.’
      • ‘The truth is even sadder: they do not know how to resist the temptation of power.’
      • ‘I have in the past succumbed to temptation, lured by attractive coloured labels.’
      • ‘And it has become impossible to resist the temptations of the market economy.’
      • ‘Stripped of our comforts and distractions, we continue to face our strongest temptations.’
      • ‘They have given me their solemn pledge, and I hope that they will be able to resist the many temptations around them.’
      • ‘Low-carb dieters must resist such temptations as potatoes, rice, bread, pasta and sugar.’
      • ‘She resisted the temptation of movies because she wanted to get done with college first.’
      • ‘Of course you can give up, if you can resist the temptation of strong flavours.’
      • ‘He resisted the temptations sent before Him and set an example for the entire world to follow.’
      • ‘Our minds are bombarded daily by worldly cares, temptations and allurements that draw us away from Christ and his Word.’
      • ‘British politicians think that we are powerless to resist the temptations of convenience food.’
      allure, appeal, attraction, attractiveness, fascination
      lure, allurement, enticement, seduction, attraction, draw, pull, invitation
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    2. 1.2The tempting of Jesus by the Devil (see Matt. 4).


Middle English: from Old French temptacion, from Latin temptatio(n-), from temptare handle, test, try.