tempt fate

(redirected from tempt the fates)

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 ?
That led an American college student to call on women to wear low cut dresses one day to tempt the fates.
ANY people scoff at Cherie Blair's obsession with New Age runes and rituals designed to tempt the fates to smile further upon Britain's top political couple and their brood.
I would have loved to have gone another round,'' Eggeling said, though the nervous giggle that punctuated that statement suggested she was relieved not to have had to tempt the fates.
When we first launched the UCF in 2004 it was an idea that was perhaps just a bit ahead of its time, but as regulatory demands grow, rationalizing IT compliance controls has quickly become a business necessity for those who would rather not tempt the fates," says Craig Isaacs, CEO of Network Frontiers.