tempt fate

(redirected from tempt providence)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

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 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

COMMON
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
References in periodicals archive ?
Elsworth said: 'It would be great to get there (pounds 1 million), but we won't tempt providence.
And Frau Becker, whose next appearance in the maternity ward is scheduled for August, would tempt providence by muttering "C'mon, baby" among sweet nothings as the teutonic appeared to be sinking.
Without wishing to tempt providence, the combination of low unemployment, low inflation and low interest rates have provided the ideal platform for the region to prosper.
Elsworth, who admits the emotions stirred by gelding are starting to get to him, said: "It would be lovely if he could crack the million - but we shouldn't tempt providence by talking about it.
I do not want to tempt providence by anticipating a disaster in Solihull, but a disaster could happen and the question would then be whether Solihull could cope,' he warned.
He added: "It looks pretty certain they'll want another one, but I don't want to tempt providence.
Elsworth said: "I don't want to sound confident, because I haven't had a particularly good year and I don't want to tempt providence.
How many we need to stay up is difficult to say and I don't want to tempt providence.
I don't want to tempt providence, but he's in good health and I'm very, very pleased with him.