Definition of tempt in English:



  • 1 Entice or attempt to entice (someone) to do or acquire something that they find attractive but know to be wrong or not beneficial.

    ‘don't allow impatience to tempt you into overexposure and sunburn’
    ‘there'll always be someone tempted by the rich pickings of poaching’
    [with object and infinitive] ‘jobs that involve entertaining may tempt you to drink more than you intend’
    • ‘She tempts him to drink and he loses his precious manuscript.’
    • ‘They use low pricing to tempt people into drinking to excess.’
    • ‘His hair was rich and thick, tempting her to slide her hands through it.’
    • ‘Christ was tempted, yet he could not sin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sometimes, he says, the bad spirits tempt him to do wrong.’
    • ‘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 have to admit that I was nearly tempted to get involved in a couple, but I did not.’
      • ‘I'm really tempted to buy it.’
      • ‘I was tempted to stop for ice cream.’
      • ‘Some clients were tempted to take out expensive loans to pay for private dental treatment.’
      • ‘When something goes wrong, you're just tempted to buy a new one.’
      • ‘I am really tempted to steal his drinks.’
      • ‘I was tempted to just head home.’
      • ‘You're always tempted to order pizza late at night.’
      • ‘I was tempted to make fun of him.’
      • ‘I am always tempted not to contact friends who don't contact me.’
      • ‘Even smaller companies were tempted to reward clients with treats.’
      • ‘They were tempted to walk out halfway through the performance.’
      • ‘None of them were tempted to take a dip in the river.’
      • ‘I am tempted to lower my standards and do shoddy work.’
      • ‘There have been times when we were tempted to change location or expand.’
      • ‘I was nearly tempted to kill myself.’
      • ‘We were tempted to return to our warm old hotel.’
      • ‘I was actually tempted to convince him to come back to the band.’
      • ‘Hospital staff were tempted to give a name to the the unknown child.’
      • ‘I am always tempted to revise more for my stronger topics.’
    2. 1.2 Attract; allure.
      ‘he was tempted out of retirement to save the team’
      • ‘Some product providers offer a very attractive rate to tempt new customers.’
      • ‘The firm tempted drivers to the town by offering attractive packages.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On this island, the tasty cuisine tempts.’
      • ‘Special offers are now so attractive they will certainly tempt tourists to our city.’
      • ‘Enticing descriptions on your menu tempt customers to try hot drinks.’
      • ‘There are scores of intriguing recipes to tempt your clientele's palates.’
    3. 1.3archaic Risk provoking (a deity or abstract force), usually with undesirable consequences.
      • ‘He claims you're always trying to tempt God with whiskey and cigars.’


  • tempt fate (or providence)

    • Do something that is risky or dangerous.

      • ‘I don't want to tempt fate, but my sore throat appears to have gone.’
      • ‘Odysseus tempts his fate and risks his life.’
      • ‘I should never have tempted fate by proudly declaring that I had never been suspended in my career.’
      • ‘The team tempts fate by planning a victory celebration before a ball has been kicked.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is tempting fate by messing around with a very dangerous drug.’
      • ‘I reassured her that it worked fine, which was tempting fate.’
      • ‘I wouldn't like to tempt fate by saying I have been cured.’
      run a risk, live dangerously, play with fire, sail close to the wind, risk it
      View synonyms


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