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tempt fate

1. To do something that one knows is dangerous or likely to have a negative outcome. You're really tempting fate by not taking your car in for service when all these dashboard lights are on.
2. To invite bad luck or unpleasant situations by showing one's confidence in something. I'm afraid to tempt fate, but I really think I did well on the exam.
See also: fate, tempt

tempt someone into something

to lure or seduce someone into something. Could I tempt you into going swimming? She would not be tempted into eating the rich and fattening cake.
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tempt someone to do something

to entice someone to do something. You can't tempt me to eat any of that cake! I wasn't even tempted to go into town with the others.
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tempt someone with something

to entice someone with something. Can I tempt you with a bit of chocolate cake? I was tempted with a free book if I sent in my name, but I decided against it.
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tempt fate

Also, tempt the fates. Take a severe risk, as in It's tempting fate to start up that mountain so late in the day, or Patrice thought driving that old car was tempting the fates; it was sure to break down . This expression uses tempt in the sense of "test in a way that involves risk or danger." Earlier idioms with a similar meaning were tempt God, dating from the 1300s, and tempt fortune, first recorded in 1603, with fate appearing about 1700.
See also: fate, tempt

tempt fate

1. If someone tempts fate, they take unnecessary risks or do something that may bring them bad luck. They charged the organisers with tempting fate by sending so many ill-prepared crews into such dangerous waters. Note: You can also say that someone tempts providence. I used to take the most appalling risks because it was in my nature to push everything to the extreme. I was tempting providence all the time.
2. If you tempt fate, you talk too confidently about something which may go wrong. While I wouldn't want to tempt fate, almost every time this team has been put under pressure, they've triumphed. Note: You can also say that someone tempts providence. I'm 36 and I'd hate to tempt providence and say I'm going to get pregnant.
See also: fate, tempt

tempt fate (or providence)

act rashly. informal
See also: fate, tempt

tempt ˈfate/ˈprovidence

take a risk or do something dangerous: ‘I don’t think I’ll insure my boat.’ ‘Don’t tempt fate. It’s best to insure it.’
See also: fate, tempt
References in periodicals archive ?
Quinn has been trying to tempt Allardyce for a month.
Then Ray got under the covers and tried to tempt Tania - but she declined.
This candy lover's delight tempts with chunks of real Snickers candy; rich nougat ice cream swirled with caramel and fudge; smooth, buttery caramel sauce; whipped topping--and a cherry.
Elin Roberts at the Centre for Life, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, explains: "The smell of sizzling bacon is enough to tempt even the staunchest of vegetarians.
Trying to lighten the moment, Olvaro Huerta warned the mayor that the next day's headlines might read, ``Mayor Tempts Hunger Strikers.
It may include items such as Piccolos, freshly baked, 6-inch individual pizzas, served, hot, in less than three minutes; various salads; grilled Italian-style sandwiches; fresh fruit bowls and breakfast selections tempt the palate, with an Italian breakfast turnover.
It is the stores' jobs to tempt us into spending," said Richard Pittman, director of counseling for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Los Angeles (CCCS-LA), "and, for our own sakes, it's our job to spend with caution and control.
Nightclub owner Fran, 27, added: "I can't think of anything that could tempt me to stray from Natasha.
GERMAN manufacturer MZ hopes to tempt tourers on to its new bike before their summer trek.
Photo Some of the many plastic lures used to tempt calico bass on open-surface bites.
At least BBC1 has Strictly Come Dancing to tempt the elderly and confused.
Food psychologist Dr Christy Fergusson has, in partnership with ASK restaurants, delved into the science behind what tempts us and why, and has identified that three key factors affect our approach to food stuffs: 45% aroma (how it smells), 35% sight (what it looks like) and 20% positive association (knowing you loved it the last time you ate it).
Satan tempts Eve and Eve tempts Adam with promises of joy that recall those celebrations.
The ring, meanwhile, has powers of its own; it constantly tempts its owner to take advantage of the ring's ability to make its wearer invisible, and it never ceases trying to get back to its master, Sauron.
In our hunger, exhaustion, or fear it is easy to succumb to such temptations, and so we need the presence of the Spirit and God's Word to defeat the devil that tempts us.