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  1. that tempts; enticing or inviting.
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Origin of tempting

First recorded in 1540–50; tempt + -ing2
Related formstempt·ing·ly, adverbtempt·ing·ness, nounun·tempt·ing, adjectiveun·tempt·ing·ly, adverb


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verb (used with object)
  1. to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.
  2. to attract, appeal strongly to, or invite: The offer tempts me.
  3. to render strongly disposed to do something: The book tempted me to read more on the subject.
  4. to put (someone) to the test in a venturesome way; provoke: to tempt one's fate.
  5. Obsolete. to try or test.
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Origin of tempt

1175–1225; Middle English < Latin temptāre to probe, feel, test, tempt
Related formstempt·a·ble, adjectivepre·tempt, verb (used with object)self-tempt·ed, adjectivesu·per·tempt, verb (used with object)un·tempt·a·ble, adjectiveun·tempt·ed, adjective


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1. Tempt, seduce may both mean to allure or entice to something unwise or wicked. To tempt is to attract by holding out the probability of gratification or advantage, often in the direction of that which is wrong or unwise: to tempt a man with a bribe. To seduce is literally to lead astray, sometimes from that which absorbs one or demands attention, but oftener, in a moral sense, from rectitude, chastity, etc.: to seduce a person away from loyalty. 2. inveigle, induce, lure, incite, persuade.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tempting

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for tempting


  1. attractive or invitinga tempting meal
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Derived Formstemptingly, adverbtemptingness, noun


verb (tr)
  1. to attempt to persuade or entice to do something, esp something morally wrong or unwise
  2. to allure, invite, or attract
  3. to give rise to a desire in (someone) to do something; disposetheir unfriendliness tempted me to leave the party
  4. to risk provoking (esp in the phrase tempt fate)
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Derived Formstemptable, adjectivetempter, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French tempter, from Latin temptāre to test
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 tempting


"inviting," 1590s, present participle adjective from tempt (v.). Related: Temptingly.

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early 13c., from Old French tempter (12c.), from Latin temptare "to feel, try out, attempt to influence, test." Related: Tempted; tempting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper