- When you try to entice someone to come to a party with the promise of good food, this is an example of a time when you tempt him.
- When you tell a lie that might be discovered, this is an example of a time when you tempt fate.
To tempt is to try to entice someone to do something, or to have an urge or desire to do something.
- Archaic to test; try
- to try to persuade; induce or entice, esp. to something immoral or sensually pleasurable
- to rouse desire in; be inviting to; attract
- to provoke or run the risk of provoking (fate, etc.)
- to incline strongly: to be tempted to accept
Origin of temptMiddle English tempten from Old French tempter from Ecclesiastical Late Latin temptare from L, to try the strength of, urge from Indo-European an unverified form temp-: see temper
verbtempt·ed, tempt·ing, tempts
- To try to get (someone) to do wrong, especially by a promise of reward. See Synonyms at lure.
- To be inviting or attractive to: A second helping tempted me. We refused the offer even though it tempted us.
- To provoke or to risk provoking: Don't tempt fate.
- To cause to be strongly disposed: He was tempted to walk out.
To be attractive or inviting: a meal that tempts.
Origin of temptMiddle English tempten from Old French tempter from Latin temptāre to feel, try
(third-person singular simple present tempts, present participle tempting, simple past and past participle tempted)