[ si-duhk-tiv ]
/ sɪˈdʌk tɪv /
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See synonyms for: seductive / seductively / seductiveness on Thesaurus.com

tending to seduce; enticing; beguiling; captivating: a seductive smile.
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Origin of seductive

First recorded in 1755–65; seduct(ion) + -ive


Words nearby seductive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does seductive mean?

Seductive is used to describe someone who makes you want to engage in sexual activity with them, especially in a subtle or manipulative way.

Seductive is also commonly used in a more general way to describe someone or something that tempts or influences someone to do something, especially something bad or something they wouldn’t normally do. Though this meaning of the word does not involve sex, it’s still often associated with the sense of the word that does.

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

Seductive is the adjective form of the verb seduce. The act of seducing is called seduction.

Example: There’s nothing I find more seductive in a person than the confidence to be who they are.

Where does seductive come from?

The first records of the word seductive come from the late 1700s. It ultimately 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 verb seduce is recorded earlier, in the 1470s, and 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 seductive—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 being seductive in this way. Being seductive is typically thought to be achieved by making yourself irresistible through the way you act or the things you say.

The more general sense of being seductive involves leading someone astray or luring them in. This usually involves trying to get them to do something corrupt or at least something they wouldn’t normally do. Cult leaders can be seductive in this way. But it’s not only people who are seductive. Sometimes, the lure of money or success is said to be seductive. Advertising is sometimes described as seductive, meaning its goal is to seduce people to buy a product.

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What are some other forms of seductive?

What are some synonyms for seductive?

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


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


How is seductive used in real life?

Seductive often has a somewhat negative connotation that implies deviousness and manipulativeness. It’s very commonly used in reference to sex, but it’s also commonly used in a general way.


Try using seductive!

Is seductive used correctly in the following sentence?

You might think that women find your brash arrogance seductive, but it’s really just a turnoff.

How to use seductive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for seductive

/ (sɪˈdʌktɪv) /

tending to seduce or capable of seducing; enticing; alluring

Derived forms of seductive

seductively, adverbseductiveness, noun
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