What does temper mean?

Definitions for temper
ˈtɛm pərtem·per

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pique, temper, irritationnoun

    a sudden outburst of anger

    "his temper sparked like damp firewood"

  2. temper, mood, humor, humournoun

    a characteristic (habitual or relatively temporary) state of feeling

    "whether he praised or cursed me depended on his temper at the time"; "he was in a bad humor"

  3. temper, biliousness, irritability, peevishness, pettishness, snappishness, surlinessnoun

    a disposition to exhibit uncontrolled anger

    "his temper was well known to all his employees"

  4. temper, toughnessverb

    the elasticity and hardness of a metal object; its ability to absorb considerable energy before cracking

  5. anneal, temper, normalizeverb

    bring to a desired consistency, texture, or hardness by a process of gradually heating and cooling

    "temper glass"

  6. temper, hardenverb

    harden by reheating and cooling in oil

    "temper steel"

  7. temperverb

    adjust the pitch (of pianos)

  8. temper, season, mollifyverb

    make more temperate, acceptable, or suitable by adding something else; moderate

    "she tempered her criticism"

  9. chasten, moderate, temperverb



  1. tempernoun

    A tendency to be of a certain type of mood.

  2. tempernoun

    State of mind.

  3. tempernoun

    The heat treatment to which a metal or other material has been subjected; a material that has undergone a particular heat treatment.

  4. temperverb

    To moderate or control.

    Temper your language around children.

  5. temperverb

    To heat-treat a material, especially metal or chocolate.

    Next, temper Tempering is a heat treatment technique applied to metals, alloys, and glass to achieve greater toughness by increasing the strength of materials and/or ductility. Tempering is performed by a controlled reheating of the work piece to a temperature below its lower eutectic critical temperature..

  6. temperverb

    To mix clay, plaster or mortar with water to obtain the proper consistency

  7. Etymology: From temperen, from *, from temperare, from tempus; see temporal.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tempernoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Nothing better proveth the excellency of this soil and temper than the abundant growing of the palm trees. Walter Raleigh.

    Health itself is but a kind of temper, gotten and preserved by a convenient mixture of contrarieties. Arbuthnot.

    If the estates of some bishops were exorbitant before the reformation, the present clergy’s wishes reach no further than that some reasonable temper had been used instead of paring them so quick. Jonathan Swift, Miscel.

    This body would be increased daily, being supplied from above and below, and having done growing, it would become more dry by degrees, and of a temper of greater consistency and firmness. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

    Remember with what mild
    And gracious temper he both heard, and judg’d,
    Without wrath or reviling. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. x.

    This will keep their thoughts easy and free, the only temper wherein the mind is capable of receiving new informations. John Locke, on Education.

    The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper leaps o’er a cold decree. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Our hearts,
    Of brothers temper, do receive you in
    With all kind love. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    Restore yourselves unto your tempers, fathers,
    And without perturbation hear me speak. Ben Jonson.

    Teach me, like thee, in various nature wise,
    To fall with dignity, with temper rise. Alexander Pope.

    Here draw I
    A sword, whose temper I intend to stain
    With the best blood that I can meet withal. William Shakespeare.

    Ithuriel with his spear
    Touch’d lightly; for no falshood can endure
    Touch of cœlestial temper, but returns
    Of force to its own likeness: up he starts,
    Discover’d, and surpriz’d. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. iv.

    These needles should have a due temper; for if they are too soft, the force exerted to carry them through the flesh will bend them; if they are too brittle they snap. Samuel Sharp.

  2. To Temperverb

    Etymology: tempero, Lat. temperer, Fr.

    I shall temper so
    Justice with mercy, as may illustrate most
    Them fully satisfy’d, and Thee appease. John Milton.

    If you could find out but a man
    To bear a poison, I would temper it;
    That Romeo should upon receipt thereof
    Soon sleep in quiet. William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

    Prepare the sixth part of an ephah and the third part of an hin of oil, to temper with the fine flour. Ezek. xlvi. 14.

    The good old knight, with a mixture of the father and master of the family, tempered the inquiries after his own affairs with kind questions relating to themselves. Addison.

    Th’ uncivil kerns of Ireland are in arms,
    And temper clay with blood of Englishmen. William Shakespeare.

    The potter tempering soft earth, fashioneth every vessel with much labour. Wisd. xv. 7.

    Thy sustenance serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man’s liking. Wisd. xvi. 21.

    These soft fires with kindly heat
    Of various influence foment and warm,
    Temper or nourish. John Milton.

    Solon, in his laws to the Athenians, laboured to temper their warlike courages with sweet delights of learning and sciences: so that as much as the one excelled in arms, the other exceeded in knowledge. Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    With this she wonts to temper angry Jove,
    When all the gods he threats with thund’ring dart. Edmund Spenser.

    Now will I to that old Andronicus,
    And temper him with all the art I have. William Shakespeare.

    Woman! Nature made thee
    To temper man: we had been brutes without you. Thomas Otway.

    The sword
    Of Michael from the armoury of God
    Was given him temper’d so, that neither keen
    Nor solid might resist that edge. John Milton.

    In the tempering of steel, by holding it but a minute or two longer or lesser in the other competent heat, gives it very differing tempers as to brittleness or toughness. Boyle.

    Repeated peals they hear,
    And, in a heav’n serene, refulgent arms appear;
    Red’ning the skies, and glitt’ring all around,
    The temper’d metals clash, and yield a silver sound. Dryd.

    With which the damned ghosts he governeth,
    And furies rules, and Tartare tempereth. Hubberd’s Tale.


  1. temper

    Temper refers to a person's emotional state or mood, often relating to their level of patience, calmness or irritability. It is also used to describe the tendency to become angered or annoyed easily. In materials science, "temper" can also refer to the process of heating and then cooling metal to enhance its strength and toughness.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Temperverb

    to mingle in due proportion; to prepare by combining; to modify, as by adding some new element; to qualify, as by an ingredient; hence, to soften; to mollify; to assuage; to soothe; to calm

  2. Temperverb

    to fit together; to adjust; to accomodate

  3. Temperverb

    to bring to a proper degree of hardness; as, to temper iron or steel

  4. Temperverb

    to govern; to manage

  5. Temperverb

    to moisten to a proper consistency and stir thoroughly, as clay for making brick, loam for molding, etc

  6. Temperverb

    to adjust, as the mathematical scale to the actual scale, or to that in actual use

  7. Tempernoun

    the state of any compound substance which results from the mixture of various ingredients; due mixture of different qualities; just combination; as, the temper of mortar

  8. Tempernoun

    constitution of body; temperament; in old writers, the mixture or relative proportion of the four humors, blood, choler, phlegm, and melancholy

  9. Tempernoun

    disposition of mind; the constitution of the mind, particularly with regard to the passions and affections; as, a calm temper; a hasty temper; a fretful temper

  10. Tempernoun

    calmness of mind; moderation; equanimity; composure; as, to keep one's temper

  11. Tempernoun

    heat of mind or passion; irritation; proneness to anger; -- in a reproachful sense

  12. Tempernoun

    the state of a metal or other substance, especially as to its hardness, produced by some process of heating or cooling; as, the temper of iron or steel

  13. Tempernoun

    middle state or course; mean; medium

  14. Tempernoun

    milk of lime, or other substance, employed in the process formerly used to clarify sugar

  15. Temperverb

    to accord; to agree; to act and think in conformity

  16. Temperverb

    to have or get a proper or desired state or quality; to grow soft and pliable

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Temper

    tem′pėr, v.t. to mix in due proportion: to modify by blending or mixture: to moderate: to soften: to bring to a proper degree of hardness and elasticity, as steel: to amend or adjust, as a false or imperfect concord.—n. due mixture or balance or different or contrary qualities: state of a metal as to hardness, &c.: constitution of the body: constitutional frame or state of mind, esp. with regard to feelings, disposition, temperament, mood: passion, irritation: calmness or moderation: in sugar-works lime or other substance used to neutralise the acidity of cane-juice.—adjs. Tem′perable, capable of being tempered; Tem′pered, having a certain specified disposition or temper: brought to a certain temper, as steel: (mus.) tuned or adjusted to some mean, or to equal, temperament.—adv. Tem′peredly.—ns. Tem′perer; Tem′pering, the process of giving the required degree of hardness or softness to iron or steel, by heating to redness and cooling in different ways. [L. temperāre, to combine properly, allied to tempus, time.]

The Foolish Dictionary, by Gideon Wurdz


    A quality, the loss of which is likely to make a knife blade dull and a woman's tongue sharp.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'temper' in Nouns Frequency: #2487

How to pronounce temper?

How to say temper in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of temper in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of temper in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of temper in a Sentence

  1. Teresa Klein:

    I understand how it looks, but she escalated it and then I lost my temper at her, not at that child.

  2. Milos Raonic:

    I don't think we're going to have many consecutive opportunities on each other's serves, i think we're sort of both playing with the same type of fire. It's about who can sort of temper the other guy's better.

  3. Kerrion Franklin:

    Recently my son and I had an argument that he chose to record, i felt extremely disrespected in that conversation and I lost my temper and I said words that are not appropriate and I am sincerely sorry to all of you. I sincerely apologize.

  4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt:

    The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

  5. Ben Carson on Thursday:

    ?Why would anybody know about, you know, private incidents like that? You know, I was generally a nice person, it's just that I had a very bad temper, so unless you were the victim of that temper, why would you know? Just because you happened to know me? That doesn't make any sense.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for temper

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • مزاجArabic
  • humor, trempCatalan, Valencian
  • gemyt, sind, natur, temperamentDanish
  • mäßigen, Ausheizen, Laune, Anlassen, Gereiztheit, TemperamentGerman
  • temperamento, temple, templarSpanish
  • خویPersian
  • hillitä, tuuli, päästää, luonne, päästäminen, lieventää, lämpökäsitellä, mielentila, mielenlaatu, mieliala, luonteenlaatuFinnish
  • tempérament, humeur, état d'esprit, recuire, caractère, recuitFrench
  • מֶזֶגHebrew
  • uitharden, karakter, gemoed, matigenDutch
  • usposobieniePolish
  • revenire, modera, fire, temperament, amesteca, regula, tempera, dispoziție, reveni, caracter, stare, căliRomanian
  • умеря́ть, нрав, настро́й, настрое́ние, уме́рить, закали́ть, закаля́ть, темпера́мент, хара́ктерRussian
  • prekaliti, ћудSerbo-Croatian
  • mildra, härda, dämpaSwedish
  • inhliziyoZulu

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"temper." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/temper>.

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    transmit (a signal) for setting off an appropriate response, as in telecommunication
    A demolish
    B interrogate
    C acclaim
    D accompany

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