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[tempt] /tɛmpt/
verb (used with object)
to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.
to attract, appeal strongly to, or invite:
The offer tempts me.
to render strongly disposed to do something:
The book tempted me to read more on the subject.
to put (someone) to the test in a venturesome way; provoke:
to tempt one's fate.
Obsolete. to try or test.
Origin of tempt
1175-1225; Middle English < Latin temptāre to probe, feel, test, tempt
Related forms
temptable, adjective
pretempt, verb (used with object)
self-tempted, adjective
supertempt, verb (used with object)
untemptable, adjective
untempted, adjective
1. Tempt, seduce may both mean to allure or entice to something unwise or wicked. To tempt is to attract by holding out the probability of gratification or advantage, often in the direction of that which is wrong or unwise: to tempt a man with a bribe. To seduce is literally to lead astray, sometimes from that which absorbs one or demands attention, but oftener, in a moral sense, from rectitude, chastity, etc.: to seduce a person away from loyalty. 2. inveigle, induce, lure, incite, persuade. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tempt
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Your aunt must have dainties to tempt her appetite and so keep up her strength.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • Magnificent was the day, indeed, and sorely did La Malne tempt us to a halt.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • It was information which was bound to tempt the light-hearted Tom.

    With Wellington in Spain F. S. Brereton
  • It was hard to dissemble still, to tempt him to say something that would madden me!

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • When we love a woman we begin to tell her of our possessions and to tempt her by them.

    The Trumpeter Swan Temple Bailey
British Dictionary definitions for tempt


verb (transitive)
to attempt to persuade or entice to do something, esp something morally wrong or unwise
to allure, invite, or attract
to give rise to a desire in (someone) to do something; dispose: their unfriendliness tempted me to leave the party
to risk provoking (esp in the phrase tempt fate)
Derived Forms
temptable, adjective
tempter, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French tempter, from Latin temptāre to test
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tempt

early 13c., from Old French tempter (12c.), from Latin temptare "to feel, try out, attempt to influence, test." Related: Tempted; tempting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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