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
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
LOATHE though I am to tempt fate, I am as confident as I can be about Everton's progress continuing today against Birmingham.
He said: ''It's a record we are proud of but I don't want to tempt fate.
I'm not going to call it a ``crash- course'' - no reason to tempt fate.
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.
RANGERS manager Walter Smith is refusing to tempt fate by discussing potential opponents for the third qualifying round of the Champions League.
Lifeguard chief Paul Milne said: 'We don't want to tempt fate.
Home and Away (ITV): Dan takes control of his own destiny and starts to tempt fate a bit to often.
Basking in the marine-layer-mitigated sun, feeling the sand between my toes and a sense of near-utter contentment in my heart, I found myself feeling drawn to tempt fate by challenging one more spot, to see if I could achieve perfection three times in one day as only someone living in this big corner of the world can.
He said: "I wouldn't like to tempt fate by saying we will get promotion but we will be very disappointed if we don't go up.
WALTER SMITH refused to tempt fate by discussing potential opponents for the third qualifying round of the Champions League.
THE Barby Players theatre group will tempt fate later this month with its next show.
There are a couple of things politicians should never attempt, except if they want to seriously tempt fate and draw derision.
Townsley revealed: "I don't want to tempt fate with too many title defences.
WALES will tempt fate by using the once cursed away dressing room against Scotland today.