[ si-doos, -dyoos ]
/ sɪˈdus, -ˈdyus /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: seduce / seduced / seducing / seducer on Thesaurus.com

Definition of seduce

verb (used with object), se·duced, se·duc·ing.
to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt.
to persuade or induce to have sexual intercourse.
to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance: He was seduced by the prospect of gain.
to win over; attract; entice: a supermarket seducing customers with special sales.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of seduce

First recorded in 1470–80; from Latin sēdūcere “to lead aside,” equivalent to sē-se- + dūcere “to lead”; replacing earlier seduise, from Middle French, from Latin, as above

synonym study for seduce

1. See tempt.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does seduce mean?

To seduce someone is to make them want to engage in sexual activity with you, especially in a subtle or manipulative way.

Seduce is also commonly used in a more general way meaning to tempt or influence someone to do something, especially something bad or something they wouldn’t normally do. Though this sense of the word does not involve sex, it’s still often thought of as a metaphor for the type of seducing that does.

Both senses of the word often imply a subtle manipulation in which one’s motives are hidden.

People or things that seduce are said to be seductive. The act of seducing is called seduction.

Example: They’re going to try to seduce you with flattery and a fancy dinner, but try to focus on the terms of the deal before you make your decision.

Where does seduce come from?

Seduce comes from the Latin verb sēdūcere, meaning “to lead aside.” (The root dūcere also forms the basis of words like induce, produce, and reduce.) The first records of seduce in English come from the 1470s. Its original use referred to persuading a soldier or servant to desert or change sides. From there, it began to be used in a more general way to refer to influencing someone to do something wrong. Only later did it come to be used in reference to making someone want to have sex.

Today, this is the most commonly used meaning of seduce—and the meaning that’s associated with just about every use of the word, even when it is used more generally. James Bond is notorious for seducing women in this way. This type of seduction is typically thought to be achieved by making yourself irresistible through the way you act or the things you say.

More generally, to seduce someone is to lead them astray or lure them in. This usually involves trying to get them to do something corrupt or at least something they wouldn’t normally do. In Star Wars, villains are always trying to seduce people to the dark side. But it’s not only people who seduce. Sometimes, a person is said to have been seduced by greed or the lure of success. The goal of advertising is sometimes said to be to seduce people to buy a product.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of seduce?

  • seduction (noun)
  • seductive (adjective)
  • seductively (adverb)
  • seductiveness (noun)
  • seducer (noun)
  • unseductive (adjective)

What are some synonyms for seduce?

What are some words that share a root or word element with seduce


What are some words that often get used in discussing seduce?


How is seduce used in real life?

Seduce often has a somewhat negative connotation that implies that such actions are devious and manipulative. It’s very commonly used in reference to sex, but it’s also commonly used in a general way.



Try using seduce!

Is seduce used correctly in the following sentence?

Don’t let him seduce you with his lies and empty promises.

How to use seduce in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for seduce

/ (sɪˈdjuːs) /

verb (tr)
to persuade to engage in sexual intercourse
to lead astray, as from the right action
to win over, attract, or lure

Derived forms of seduce

seducible or seduceable, adjective

Word Origin for seduce

C15: from Latin sēdūcere to lead apart, from sē- apart + dūcere to lead
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