- the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition.
- unusual personal attitude or nature as manifested by peculiarities of feeling, temper, action, etc., often with a disinclination to submit to conventional rules or restraints.
- (old physiology) the combination of the four cardinal humors, the relative proportions of which were supposed to determine physical and mental constitution.
- the tuning of a keyboard instrument, as the piano, organ, or harpsichord, so that the instrument may be played in all keys without further tuning.
- a particular system of doing this.
- Archaic. an act of tempering or moderating.
- Archaic. climate.
Origin of temperament
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for temperament
He throws every fiber of his being into each performance, altering his posture, elocution, temperament, and more.Oscars 2015: The Daily Beast’s Picks, From Scarlett Johansson to ‘Boyhood’
January 6, 2015
She was a little fairy and she flew around and she had a temperament.The ‘Maleficent’ Screenwriter Also Wrote ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’
June 1, 2014
He let himself become, at some point, the creature of his own temperament.What Should Be Your Favorite Books?
February 13, 2014
He took this to be just her temperament and says it finally led Advanced Periodontics to let her go.What Pushed Miriam Carey to a Capitol Hill Tragedy?
October 4, 2013
But it was Berlin that was on the march—"the blood is there, and the hope, and the moody, lustful Wagnerian temperament."Before the Fall: What Did the World Look Like in 1913?
June 9, 2013
Their tone came of temperament, the words themselves of love and its courage.Weighed and Wanting
"Temperament is a peculiar thing," Mr. Cream said as they ascended the stairs.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
It was, perhaps, in some measure a matter of temperament with her; but it was also a matter of education.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
If I had, I know that one of my temperament could not have escaped serious consequences.Wilfrid Cumbermede
Woman is by her temperament inclined to do too much or to do nothing.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
- an individual's character, disposition, and tendencies as revealed in his reactions
- excitability, moodiness, or anger, esp when displayed openlyan actress with temperament
- the characteristic way an individual behaves, esp towards other peopleSee also character, personality
- an adjustment made to the frequency differences between notes on a keyboard instrument to allow modulation to other keys
- any of several systems of such adjustment, such as just temperament, a system not practically possible on keyboard instruments, mean-tone temperament, a system giving an approximation to natural tuning, and equal temperament, the system commonly used in keyboard instruments, giving a scale based on an octave divided into twelve exactly equal semitonesSee also just intonation
- obsolete the characteristic way an individual behaves, viewed as the result of the influence of the four humours (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile)
- archaic compromise or adjustment
- an obsolete word for temperature
Word Origin and History for temperament
early 15c., "proportioned mixture of elements," from Latin temperamentum "proper mixture," from temperare "to mix" (see temper). In medieval theory, it meant a combination of qualities (hot, cold, moist, dry) that determined the nature of an organism; this was extended to a combination of the four humors (sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic) that made up a person's characteristic disposition. General sense of "habit of mind, natural disposition" is from 1821.
- The manner of thinking, behaving, or reacting characteristic of a specific person.
- Disposition; temper.