[in-tem-per-uh ns, -pruh ns]


excessive or immoderate indulgence in alcoholic beverages.
excessive indulgence of appetite or passion.
lack of moderation or due restraint, as in action or speech.
an act or instance of any of these: a long series of intemperances.

Origin of intemperance

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English word from Latin word intemperantia. See in-3, temperance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for intemperance

drunkenness, alcoholism, immoderation

Examples from the Web for intemperance

Historical Examples of intemperance

  • Which speaks of an intemperance in the splenetic parenchyma; that is to say, the spleen.

  • The bed of enjoyment succeeded to the board of intemperance.


    William Godwin

  • As for Matta, he was severely reprimanded for the intemperance of his tongue.

  • Then no intemperance or madness should be allowed to approach true love?

  • You have come to gamble, and your gambling is attended by every form of intemperance and immorality.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

Word Origin and History for intemperance

early 15c., from Middle French intemperance (14c.), from Latin intemperantia "intemperateness, immoderation, excess," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + temperantia (see temperance). Originally of climate; meaning "lack of moderation" in English is from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper