tempt fate, to

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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 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 classic literature ?
Arobin pulled off his coat, and expressed himself ready and willing to tempt fate in her place.
Sometimes his willingness to tempt fate led him into strange paths.
He had no wish to tempt fate within range of those deadly spears.
"There are so many things that can go wrong and I almost didn't want to tempt fate. It wasn't important for me to make a big announcement before she came into the world."
But the jailbird - serving three life sentences for the 1996 slaughter of Lin Russell, 45, and her daughter Megan, six - doesn't want to tempt fate by thinking about being freed.
Michelle hinted at her new love in a recent interview, saying: "I don't want to tempt fate by talking about my personal life.
"I didn't go for three in a row with the treacle toffee because I didn't want to tempt fate," she said.
Brown (left) did not want to tempt fate before their second qualifying round second leg in Iceland on Thursday, which Well won 1-0 thanks to a Jamie Murphy goal to advance 2-0 on aggregate.
Picking up a tennis racquet for probably only the second time in 10 years - and then proceeding to swing it around for five and six hours every day for a month probably isn't the safest way to tempt fate.
I HATE to tempt fate but I am going into this coming season with a real sense of optimism for Blues.
SCOTLAND boss Alex McLeish refused to tempt fate by suggesting his side will qualify for Euro 2008 after steering their campaign back on track with a 2-0 win in the Faroe Islands.
It's expected to be dry overnight, so I'm leaving it as good to soft for now, but I don't want to tempt fate by predicting what it's going to be tomorrow in case some unexpected rain turns up.
It's something we have not discussed as we don't want to tempt fate. I think she'd understand if I said I had to play the match - she's good like that."
I do not want to tempt fate, but I am entirely confident we will thrash Man Utd.