- Veterinary Pathology.
- Also called canine distemper.an infectious disease chiefly of young dogs, caused by an unidentified virus and characterized by lethargy, fever, catarrh, photophobia, and vomiting.
- Also called colt distemper, equine distemper, strangles.an infectious disease of horses, caused by the bacillus Streptococcus equi and characterized by catarrh of the upper air passages and the formation of pus in the submaxillary and other lymphatic glands.
- Also called cat distemper, feline agranulocytosis, feline distemper, feline infectious enteritis, feline panleukopenia.a usually fatal viral disease of cats, characterized by fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, leading to severe dehydration.
- a deranged condition of mind or body; a disorder or disease: a feverish distemper.
- disorder or disturbance, especially of a political nature.
- Obsolete. to derange physically or mentally.
Origin of distemper1
- a technique of decorative painting in which glue or gum is used as a binder or medium to achieve a mat surface and rapid drying.
- (formerly) the tempera technique.
- a painting executed by this method.
- British. whitewash; calcimine.
- to paint in distemper.
- British. to whitewash a wall, cottage, etc.; calcimine.
Origin of distemper2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for distemper
This quote is supposed to confirm Thatcher as an anti-social radical individualist of the Ayn Rand distemper.Context for Margaret Thatcher's 'There is No Such Thing as Society' Remarks
April 8, 2013
Well, I hope just as I get fond of them they will not have the distemper and die!Stories of a Western Town
My distemper was a pleurisy, which very nearly carried me off.Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
They say when horses have distemper he takes the medicine himself, and then prays over the horses.O Pioneers!
The French had coined a name for the distemper and called it folie d'Afrique.The Explorer
W. Somerset Maugham
Finding him a man of reason, I entered into the bottom of his distemper.Isaac Bickerstaff
- (tr) archaic to disturb
C14: from Late Latin distemperāre to derange the health of, from Latin dis- 1 + temperāre to mix in correct proportions
- a technique of painting in which the pigments are mixed with water, glue, size, etc, used for poster, mural, and scene painting
- the paint used in this technique or any of various water-based paints, including, in Britain, whitewash
- (tr) to mix (pigments) with water and size
- to paint (something) with distemper
C14: from Medieval Latin distemperāre to soak, from Latin dis- 1 + temperāre to mingle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for distemper
1550s, from distemper (v.); in reference to a disease of dogs, from 1747.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- An infectious viral disease occurring in dogs, characterized by loss of appetite, a catarrhal discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting, partial paralysis, and sometimes death.
- A similar viral disease of cats characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea leading to dehydration, and sometimes death.
- Any of various similar mammalian diseases.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- An infectious disease occurring especially in dogs, caused by the canine distemper virus of the genus Morbillivirus. It is characterized by loss of appetite, a discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting, fever, lethargy, partial paralysis caused by destruction of myelinated nerve tissue, and sometimes death.
- An infectious disease of cats caused by the feline panleukopenia virus of the genus Parvovirus, characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea leading to dehydration, and sometimes death.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.