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tempt fate

Also,tempt the fates. Take a severe risk, as in It's tempting fate to start up that mountain so late in the day, or Patrice thought driving that old car was tempting the fates; it was sure to break down. This expression uses tempt in the sense of “test in a way that involves risk or danger.” Earlier idioms with a similar meaning were tempt God, dating from the 1300s, and tempt fortune, first recorded in 1603, with fate appearing about 1700.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for tempt fate
Historical Examples
  • It was to tempt fate to venture out of the shelter the rock was giving.

    Cape of Storms Percival Pollard
  • Sometimes his willingness to tempt fate led him into strange paths.

    The Four Million

    O. Henry
  • I did not know; I did not waste time in puzzling; I did not tempt fate by asking.

    The Plum Tree David Graham Phillips
  • I think it's perfect; but I'd better not tempt fate with any more.

    The Opened Shutters Clara Louise Burnham
  • The oftener we looked the more eager we became to tempt fate.

  • The majority of us were unwilling to tempt fate by adopting it, and took the easier way.

  • And yet Maguennoc tried to tempt fate and to get past what men are allowed to know.

    The Secret of Sarek Maurice Leblanc
  • But all kinds of skiffs and canoes appear, and some are even bold enough to tempt fate in Canadian canoes.

    The Thames G. E. Mitton
  • Alfred read and re-read the letter and immediately began making preparations to tempt fate once more.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • Her mom wasn't sure whether to punish her or not, but Ange didn't want to tempt fate.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow

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