• synonyms


[tem-per-uh l, tem-pruh l]
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  1. of or relating to time.
  2. pertaining to or concerned with the present life or this world; worldly: temporal joys.
  3. enduring for a time only; temporary; transitory (opposed to eternal).
  4. Grammar.
    1. of, relating to, or expressing time: a temporal adjective, such as recent, or a temporal adverb, such as recently.
    2. of or relating to the tenses of a verb.
  5. secular, lay, or civil, as opposed to ecclesiastical.
noun Usually temporals.
  1. a temporal possession, estate, or the like; temporality.
  2. something that is temporal; a temporal matter or affair.

Origin of temporal1

1300–50; Middle English (adj. and noun) < Latin temporālis, equivalent to tempor- (stem of tempus) time + -ālis -al1
Related formstem·po·ral·ly, adverbtem·po·ral·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for temporally

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for temporally


  1. of or relating to time
  2. of or relating to secular as opposed to spiritual or religious affairsthe lords spiritual and temporal
  3. lasting for a relatively short time
  4. grammar of or relating to tense or the linguistic expression of time in generala temporal adverb
Derived Formstemporally, adverbtemporalness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin temporālis, from tempus time


  1. anatomy of, relating to, or near the temple or temples

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin temporālis belonging to the temples; see temple ²
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 temporally



mid-14c., "worldly, secular," later "of time, terrestrial, earthly" (late 14c.), "temporary, lasting only for a time" (late 14c.), from Old French temporal, from Latin temporalis "of time, temporary," from tempus (genitive temporis) "time, season, proper time or season," of unknown origin. Related: Temporality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

temporally in Medicine


(tĕmpər-əl, tĕmprəl)
  1. Of, relating to, or near the temples of the skull.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

temporally in Science


  1. Relating to or near the bones that form the sides and part of the base of the skull.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.