What does distemper mean?

Definitions for distemper
dɪsˈtɛm pərdis·tem·per

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word distemper.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. distempernoun

    any of various infectious viral diseases of animals

  2. ill humor, ill humour, distempernoun

    an angry and disagreeable mood

  3. distempernoun

    paint made by mixing the pigments with water and a binder

  4. distempernoun

    a painting created with paint that is made by mixing the pigments with water and a binder

  5. distemperverb

    a method of painting in which the pigments are mixed with water and a binder; used for painting posters or murals or stage scenery

  6. distemperverb

    paint with distemper


  1. distempernoun

    A viral disease of animals, such as dogs and cats, characterised by fever, coughing and catarrh.

  2. distempernoun

    A disorder of the humours of the body; a disease.

  3. distempernoun

    A water-based paint.

  4. distempernoun

    A painting produced with this kind of paint.

  5. distemperverb

    to disturb and disorder, hence to make sick

  6. distemperverb

    to paint using distemper

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Distempernoun

    Etymology: dis and temper.

    They heighten distempers to diseases. John Suckling.

    It argues sickness and distemper in the mind, as well as in the body, when a man is continually turning and tossing. South.

    It was a reasonable conjecture, that those countries which were situated directly under the tropick, were of a distemper uninhabitable. Walter Raleigh, History of the World.

    If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
    Shall not be wink’d at, how shall we stretch our eye
    At capital crimes? William Shakespeare, Henry V.

    The true temper of empire is a thing rare, and hard to keep; for both temper and distemper consist of contraries. Francis Bacon.

    I was not forgetful of those sparks, which some mens distempers formerly studied to kindle in parliament. Charles I .

    Still as you rise, the state exalted too,
    Finds no distemper while ’tis chang’d by you. Edmund Waller.

    There is a sickness,
    Which puts some of us in distemper; but
    I cannot name the disease, and it is caught
    Of you that yet are well. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

  2. To Distemperverb

    Etymology: dis and temper.

    Young son, it argues a distemper’d head,
    So soon to bid good-morrow to thy bed. William Shakespeare, Ro. and Jul.

    In madness,
    Being full of supper and distemp’ring draughts,
    Upon malicious bravery, do’st thou come
    To start my guilt. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    He distempered himself one night with long and hard study. Robert Boyle, History of Fluids.

    Thou see’st me much distemper’d in my mind;
    Pull’d back, and then push’d forward to be kind. Dryden.

    Distemper’d zeal, sedition, canker’d hate,
    No more shall vex the church and tear the state. Dryden.

    They will have admirers among posterity, and be equally celebrated by those whose minds will not be distempered by interest, passion, or partiality. Joseph Addison, Freeholder.

    Once more to-day well met, distemper’d lords;
    The king by me requests your presence strait. William Shakespeare, K. John.


  1. distemper

    Distemper is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease that primarily affects animals, particularly dogs and certain species of wildlife. It is characterized by high fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, seizures and paralysis. In a broader sense, the term "distemper" can also refer to any of a range of infectious diseases that affect animals. Additionally, in decoration and painting, distemper is a type of paint that is water-based and usually glue-sized, used especially for walls and ceilings.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Distemperverb

    to temper or mix unduly; to make disproportionate; to change the due proportions of

  2. Distemperverb

    to derange the functions of, whether bodily, mental, or spiritual; to disorder; to disease

  3. Distemperverb

    to deprive of temper or moderation; to disturb; to ruffle; to make disaffected, ill-humored, or malignant

  4. Distemperverb

    to intoxicate

  5. Distemperverb

    to mix (colors) in the way of distemper; as, to distemper colors with size

  6. Distemperverb

    an undue or unnatural temper, or disproportionate mixture of parts

  7. Distemperverb

    severity of climate; extreme weather, whether hot or cold

  8. Distemperverb

    a morbid state of the animal system; indisposition; malady; disorder; -- at present chiefly applied to diseases of brutes; as, a distemper in dogs; the horse distemper; the horn distemper in cattle

  9. Distemperverb

    morbid temper of the mind; undue predominance of a passion or appetite; mental derangement; bad temper; ill humor

  10. Distemperverb

    political disorder; tumult

  11. Distemperverb

    a preparation of opaque or body colors, in which the pigments are tempered or diluted with weak glue or size (cf. Tempera) instead of oil, usually for scene painting, or for walls and ceilings of rooms

  12. Distemperverb

    a painting done with this preparation

  13. Etymology: [OF. destemprer, destremper, to distemper, F. dtremper to soak, soften, slake (lime); pref. des- (L. dis-) + OF. temprer, tremper, F. tremper, L. temperare to mingle in due proportion. See Temper, and cf. Destemprer.]


  1. Distemper

    Distemper is a ska punk band from Moscow that was founded in 1989 and is also successful outside of Russia.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Distemper

    dis-tem′pėr, n. a coarse mode of painting, in which the colours are mixed in a watery glue, white of egg, &c., chiefly used in scene-painting and in staining paper for walls.—Also Destem′per. [Same ety. as succeeding word.]

  2. Distemper

    dis-tem′pėr, n. a morbid or disorderly state of body or mind: disease, esp. of animals, specifically a typhoid inflammation of the mucous membranes of young dogs: ill-humour.—v.t. to derange the temper: to disorder or disease.—adj. Distem′perate, not temperate, immoderate: diseased.—n. Distem′perature (arch.), want of proper temperature: intemperateness, disturbance: uneasiness of mind: indisposition.—p.adj. Distem′pered, disordered: intemperate, ill-humoured, put out of sorts. [O. Fr. destemprer, to derange—L. dis, apart, temperāre, to govern.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Distemper

    A name for several highly contagious viral diseases of animals, especially canine distemper. In dogs, it is caused by the canine distemper virus (DISTEMPER VIRUS, CANINE). It is characterized by a diphasic fever, leukopenia, gastrointestinal and respiratory inflammation and sometimes, neurologic complications. In cats it is known as FELINE PANLEUKOPENIA.

How to pronounce distemper?

How to say distemper in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of distemper in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of distemper in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for distemper

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for distemper »


Find a translation for the distemper definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"distemper." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/distemper>.

Discuss these distemper definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for distemper? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a confused multitude of things
    A muddle
    B lumberman
    C crate
    D sweep

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for distemper: