AskDefine | Define temptress

Dictionary Definition

temptress n : a woman who is considered to be dangerously seductive [syn: enchantress, siren, Delilah, femme fatale]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. An alluring woman who seduces or exploits men.
  2. A woman considered sexually attractive by men.
    Marilyn Monroe, the iconic temptress of the 20th century.


An alluring woman who seduces or exploits men
A woman considered sexually attractive by men

Extensive Definition

A temptation is an act that looks appealing to an individual. It is usually used to describe acts with negative connotations and as such, tends to lead a person to regret such actions, for various reasons: legal, social, psychological (including feeling guilt), health, economic, etc. Temptation also describes the coaxing or inducing a person into committing such an act, by manipulation or otherwise of curiosity, desire or fear of loss.


Though at present used in many non-religious connotations, the term has implications deeply rooted in Christianity, starting with the story of Eve and the original sin. Many non-Western cultures had no precise equivalent until coming into contact with Europeans; for example, Jesuit missionaries in Brazil, translating the Lord's Prayer into Old Tupi, had to use the Portuguese word tentação, since Tupi had no word expressing "temptation" in that sense (see Old Tupi language#Sample text).

Contemporary use

"Temptation" is usually used in a loose sense to describe actions which indicate a lack of self control, such as procrastination or eating junk food. Temptation is a common recurring theme in world literature. Temptation has repercussions for even the strongest.
"Temptation" is something that allures, excites, and seduces someone. Infatuation can also lead to temptation as someone might do something for `love` in spite of his better judgement.
In advertising, temptation is a theme common to many of the marketing and advertising techniques used to make products more attractive for purchase by consumers.
temptress in German: Versuchung
temptress in Hebrew: פיתוי
temptress in Polish: Kuszenie
temptress in Portuguese: Tentação
temptress in Swedish: Frestelse
temptress in Ukrainian: Спокуса

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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