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[temp-tey-shuh n] /tɛmpˈteɪ ʃən/
the act of tempting; enticement or allurement.
something that tempts, entices, or allures.
the fact or state of being tempted, especially to evil.
an instance of this.
(initial capital letter) the temptation of Christ by Satan. Matt. 4.
Origin of temptation
1175-1225; Middle English temptacion < Latin temptātiōn- (stem of temptātiō) a testing. See tempt, -ation
Related forms
temptational, adjective
nontemptation, noun
pretemptation, noun
supertemptation, noun
1. lure, attraction, pull, seduction, inducement. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for temptation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The temptation to burst out and tell her of my feelings was extraordinary.

    Man and Maid Elinor Glyn
  • When temptation came to him, he told Bonita about it and asked her advice.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • Fresh from the country he succumbed to temptation and robbed the mails.

    The Lincoln Story Book Henry L. Williams
  • Sometimes the test was to show that the temptation was powerless.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • An hour of temptation must try all who dwell upon the earth.

British Dictionary definitions for temptation


the act of tempting or the state of being tempted
a person or thing that tempts
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 temptation

early 13c., from Old French temptation (12c., Modern French tentation), from Latin temptationem (nominative temptatio), from past participle stem of temptare (see tempt).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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temptation in the Bible

(1.) Trial; a being put to the test. Thus God "tempted [Gen. 22: 1; R.V., 'did prove'] Abraham;" and afflictions are said to tempt, i.e., to try, men (James 1:2, 12; comp. Deut. 8:2), putting their faith and patience to the test. (2.) Ordinarily, however, the word means solicitation to that which is evil, and hence Satan is called "the tempter" (Matt. 4:3). Our Lord was in this way tempted in the wilderness. That temptation was not internal, but by a real, active, subtle being. It was not self-sought. It was submitted to as an act of obedience on his part. "Christ was led, driven. An unseen personal force bore him a certain violence is implied in the words" (Matt. 4:1-11). The scene of the temptation of our Lord is generally supposed to have been the mountain of Quarantania (q.v.), "a high and precipitous wall of rock, 1,200 or 1,500 feet above the plain west of Jordan, near Jericho." Temptation is common to all (Dan. 12:10; Zech. 13:9; Ps. 66:10; Luke 22:31, 40; Heb. 11:17; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:7; 4:12). We read of the temptation of Joseph (Gen. 39), of David (2 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 21), of Hezekiah (2 Chr. 32:31), of Daniel (Dan. 6), etc. So long as we are in this world we are exposed to temptations, and need ever to be on our watch against them.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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