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 formstemp·ta·tion·al, adjectivenon·temp·ta·tion, nounpre·temp·ta·tion, nounsu·per·temp·ta·tion, noun

Synonyms for temptation

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for temptation

Contemporary Examples of temptation

Historical Examples of temptation

  • The money must have been too great a temptation to him and to Fred.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions.

  • I will not make it a hypocrisy to say, 'Lead us not into temptation.'

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • But now with every sip of wine the temptation came stronger and stronger.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • It never occurred to her that the girl might have been tempted to steal—and had not resisted the temptation.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

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

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