What does tempt mean?

Definitions for tempt

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word tempt.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tempt, allureverb

    dispose or incline or entice to

    "We were tempted by the delicious-looking food"

  2. entice, lure, temptverb

    provoke someone to do something through (often false or exaggerated) promises or persuasion

    "He lured me into temptation"

  3. tempt, inviteverb

    give rise to a desire by being attractive or inviting

    "the window displays tempted the shoppers"

  4. charm, influence, temptverb

    induce into action by using one's charm

    "She charmed him into giving her all his money"

  5. temptverb

    try to seduce

  6. temptverb

    try presumptuously

    "St. Anthony was tempted in the desert"


  1. temptverb

    To provoke someone to do wrong, especially by promising a reward; to entice.

    She tempted me to eat the apple.

  2. temptverb

    To attract; to allure.

    Its glossy skin tempted me.

  3. temptverb

    To provoke something; to court.

    It would be tempting fate.

  4. Etymology: From tempter (French: tenter), from temptare, more correctly tentare, frequentative of tenere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Temptverb

    Etymology: tento, Lat. tenter, Fr.

    ’Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower:
    My lady Gray tempts him to this harsh extremity. William Shakespeare.

    You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me;
    Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
    To die before you please. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Come together, that Satan tempt you not. 1 Cor. vii. 5.

    He that hath not wholly subdued himself, is quickly tempted and overcome in small things. Jeremy Taylor.

    Fix’d on the fruit she gaz’d, which to behold
    Might tempt alone. John Milton.

    The devil can but tempt and deceive; and if he cannot destroy so, his power is at an end. South.

    O wretched maid!
    Whose roving fancy would resolve the same
    With him, who next should tempt her easy fame. Matthew Prior.

    I’m much too vent’rous
    In tempting of your patience. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Your talons from the wretched and the bold;
    Tempt not the brave and needy to despair:
    For, though your violence shou’d leave ’em bare
    Of gold and silver, swords and darts remain. Dryden.

    Still his strength conceal’d
    Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall. John Milton.

    The rowing crew,
    To tempt a fare, clothe all their tilts in blue. John Gay.

    This from the vulgar branches must be torn,
    And to fair Proserpine the present born,
    Ere leave be giv’n to tempt the nether skies. Dryden.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Temptverb

    to put to trial; to prove; to test; to try

  2. Temptverb

    to lead, or endeavor to lead, into evil; to entice to what is wrong; to seduce

  3. Temptverb

    to endeavor to persuade; to induce; to invite; to incite; to provoke; to instigate

  4. Temptverb

    to endeavor to accomplish or reach; to attempt

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tempt

    temt, v.t. to put to trial: to test: to try to persuade, esp. to evil: to entice.—adj. Temp′table.—ns. Temp′tableness; Temptā′tion, act of tempting: state of being tempted: that which tempts: enticement to evil: trial.—adj. Temptā′tious, seductive.—n. Temp′ter, one who tempts, esp. the devil:—fem. Temp′tress.—adj. Temp′ting, adapted to tempt or entice.—adv. Temp′tingly.—n. Temp′tingness. [O. Fr. tempter (Fr. tenter)—L. tentāre, an inten. of tendĕre, to stretch.]

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'tempt' in Verbs Frequency: #837

How to pronounce tempt?

How to say tempt in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tempt in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tempt in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of tempt in a Sentence

  1. John Fitzgerald Kennedy:

    We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

  2. Hillary Clinton:

    Don't tempt me. Do your job.

  3. Sir Thomas More:

    Nay, tempt me not to love again: There was a time when love was sweet; Dear Nea! had I known thee then, Our souls had not been slow to meet! But oh! this weary heart hath run So many a time the rounds of pain, Not even for thee, thou lovely one! Would I endure such pangs again.

  4. Brian Quintana:

    “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising, which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

  5. Jesus Christ:

    It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for tempt

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • temptarCatalan, Valencian
  • locken, [[in]] [[Versuchung]] [[führen]]German
  • tentarSpanish
  • houkuttaa, viekoitella, härnätä, vietelläFinnish
  • attirer, tenterFrench
  • buairScottish Gaelic
  • tentarGalician
  • लुभानाHindi
  • csábítHungarian
  • tentareItalian
  • uitlokken, verlokken, verleiden, lokkenDutch
  • fristeNorwegian
  • kusićPolish
  • tentarPortuguese
  • tenta, ispitiRomanian
  • подбива́ть, склоня́ть, провоци́ровать, увещева́ть, соблазни́ть, прельща́ть, искуси́ть, спровоци́ровать, склони́ть, подби́ть, соблазня́ть, прельсти́ть, искуша́тьRussian
  • tenteareSardinian
  • రెచ్చగొట్టు, ప్రేరేపించు, ఎర వేయుTelugu
  • bätön, blufodönVolapük

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    weak or sickly person especially one morbidly concerned with his or her health
    • A. usurious
    • B. bristly
    • C. valetudinarian
    • D. repugnant

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