- a particular state of mind or feelings.
- habit of mind, especially with respect to irritability or patience, outbursts of anger, or the like; disposition: an even temper.
- heat of mind or passion, shown in outbursts of anger, resentment, etc.
- calm disposition or state of mind: to be out of temper.
- a substance added to something to modify its properties or qualities.
- the degree of hardness and strength imparted to a metal, as by quenching, heat treatment, or cold working.
- the percentage of carbon in tool steel.
- the operation of tempering.
- Archaic. a middle course; compromise.
- Obsolete. the constitution or character of a substance.
- to moderate or mitigate: to temper justice with mercy.
- to soften or tone down.
- to bring to a proper, suitable, or desirable state by or as by blending or admixture.
- to moisten, mix, and work up into proper consistency, as clay or mortar.
- Metallurgy. to impart strength or toughness to (steel or cast iron) by heating and cooling.
- to produce internal stresses in (glass) by sudden cooling from low red heat; toughen.
- to tune (a keyboard instrument, as a piano, organ, or harpsichord) so as to make the tones available in different keys or tonalities.
- to modify (color) by mixing with a medium.
- Archaic. to combine or blend in due proportions.
- Archaic. to pacify.
- to be or become tempered.
Origin of temper
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsclimate, humor, mood, attitude, disposition, temperament, spirit, personality, tantrum, impatience, rage, fury, sensitivity, resentment, passion, anger, ire, outburst, self-control, composure
Examples from the Web for temper
“When I was a kid I used to have temper tantrums on the basketball court,” he says.Dean Baquet, the NYT’s Executive Editor, on Jill Abramson, Race, Surviving Cancer—and TMZ Envy
September 16, 2014
He is said to have received a warning from the overall al Qaeda organization to temper his videos.From ISIS Videos to JLaw Nudes, When Is Looking Abetting Evil?
September 3, 2014
Again, the Israeli temper is hot and quick, sometimes reason becomes blinded and emotions take control.The Israeli Way of Death
July 2, 2014
She placidly tells people she is dreaming until her frantic father finds her again and loses his temper.Diagnosing Jane, Louis C.K.’s Troubled Daughter on ‘Louie’ Who Can’t Separate Dreams From Reality
May 15, 2014
He killed his own son and heir by whacking him over the head with the monarchal staff in a tsar-ish fit of temper.Russian History Is on Our Side: Putin Will Surely Screw Himself
P. J. O’Rourke
May 11, 2014
We all, indeed, once thought your temper soft and amiable: but why was it?
She is to be pitied—she cannot either like or dislike with temper!
If she was in a good temper, she was in a good temper; if she was in a bad temper, why there she was, she and her temper!
"Never mind, brother," replied the good Deacon, recovering his temper.Other Tales and Sketches
It was no wonder, especially when he saw who the singer was, that he should lose his temper.
- a frame of mind; mood or humoura good temper
- a sudden outburst of anger; tantrum
- a tendency to exhibit uncontrolled anger; irritability
- a mental condition of moderation and calm (esp in the phrases keep one's temper, lose one's temper, out of temper)
- the degree of hardness, elasticity, or a similar property of a metal or metal object
- to make more temperate, acceptable, or suitable by adding something else; moderatehe tempered his criticism with kindly sympathy
- to strengthen or toughen (a metal or metal article) by heat treatment, as by heating and quenching
- to adjust the frequency differences between the notes of a scale on (a keyboard instrument) in order to allow modulation into other keys
- to make such an adjustment to the pitches of notes in (a scale)
- a rare word for adapt
- an archaic word for mix
Word Origin and History for temper
late Old English temprian "to bring to a proper or suitable state, to modify some excessive quality, to restrain within due limits," from Latin temperare "to mix correctly, moderate, regulate, blend," usually described as from tempus "time, season" (see temporal), with a sense of "proper time or season," but the sense history is obscure. Meaning "to make (steel) hard and elastic" is from late 14c. Sense of "to tune the pitch of a musical instrument" is recorded from c.1300. Related: Tempered; tempering.
late 14c., "due proportion of elements or qualities," from temper (v.). The sense of "characteristic state of mind" is first recorded 1590s; that of "calm state of mind" in c.1600; and that of "angry state of mind" (for bad temper) in 1828. Meaning "degree of hardness and resiliency in steel" is from late 15c.
- A state of mind or emotions; mood.
- A tendency to become easily angry or irritable.
- An outburst of rage.
Idioms and Phrases with temper
see hold one's temper; lose one's temper.