tempt fate


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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 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

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

tempt fate, to

To expose to danger, to risk something. This expression dates from about 1700, when it replaced the earlier to tempt fortune. It appeared in John Dryden’s translation of one of the satires of Juvenal (1693): “Thy Perjur’d Friend will quickly tempt his Fate.”
See also: tempt
References in periodicals archive ?
If you have the keys, stealing a car is easy, so don't tempt fate."
While not wanting to tempt fate, bookmaker William Hill has come up with the following odds:
WITHOUT meaning to tempt fate against TNS, here are some important Champions League dates for the diary.
'I don't like to tempt fate but they've got a chance.
But McClaren is determined to do nothing to tempt fate.
"I've been lucky with injuries and lucky with the team that's been around so I shouldn't tempt fate and quit while I'm ahead."
But if she decides to tempt fate again via a facelift she'll be the butt of even more cruel gags should it again go wrong.
WAYNE ROONEY claims England have "a good chance" of winning the World Cup in Germany as he came face-to-face with the trophy for the first time - but he refused to tempt fate by taking ho of world football's biggest prize.
LOATHE though I am to tempt fate, I am as confident as I can be about Everton's progress continuing today against Birmingham.
Lifeguard chief Paul Milne said: 'We don't want to tempt fate.'
He said: ''It's a record we are proud of but I don't want to tempt fate.
But the striker says there isn't much chat about it in the Saints dressing room as nobody wants to tempt fate.
I don't want to tempt fate, but if this winter is going to turn to ice then it's being left a little late.
Home and Away (ITV): Dan takes control of his own destiny and starts to tempt fate a bit to often.
THE Barby Players theatre group will tempt fate later this month with its next show.