tempt

To tempt is to lure or entice. You might tempt your runaway dog back inside with pieces of cheese.

The verb tempt often has negative implications: "Don't let those bullies tempt you into picking on smaller kids!" When something tempts you, it's often with the knowledge that it's not the best idea, however attractive it might be. Tempt was originally a religious term, meaning "to entice to evil or sin," while today it's more likely to be a slice of cake that tempts us than the devil.

Definitions of tempt
  1. verb
    dispose or incline or entice to
    “We were tempted by the delicious-looking food”
    synonyms: allure
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    type of:
    bid, invite
    ask someone in a friendly way to do something
  2. verb
    provoke someone to do something through (often false or exaggerated) promises or persuasion
    synonyms: entice, lure
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    types:
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    hook, snare
    entice and trap
    seduce
    lure or entice away from duty, principles, or proper conduct
    call
    lure by imitating the characteristic call of an animal
    stool
    lure with a stool, as of wild fowl
    lead on
    entice or induce especially when unwise or mistaken
    tweedle
    entice through the use of music
    decoy
    lure or entrap with or as if with a decoy
    bait
    lure, entice, or entrap with bait
    type of:
    provoke, stimulate
    provide the needed stimulus for
  3. verb
    give rise to a desire by being attractive or inviting
    “the window displays tempted the shoppers”
    synonyms: invite
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    type of:
    excite, shake, shake up, stimulate, stir
    stir the feelings, emotions, or peace of
  4. verb
    induce into action by using one's charm
    synonyms: charm, influence
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    types:
    bewitch, magnetise, magnetize, mesmerise, mesmerize, spellbind
    attract strongly, as if with a magnet
    type of:
    persuade
    cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action; twist somebody's arm
  5. verb
    try to seduce
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    type of:
    arouse, excite, sex, turn on, wind up
    stimulate sexually
  6. verb
    try presumptuously
    “St. Anthony was tempted in the desert”
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    type of:
    persuade
    cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action; twist somebody's arm
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