- 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.
Origin of temperament
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’|Marlow Stern|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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’|Kevin Fallon|June 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He let himself become, at some point, the creature of his own temperament.
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?|Michael Daly|October 4, 2013|DAILY BEAST
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?|Jacob Heilbrunn|June 9, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The temperament and theory described as pessimism are European.Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3)|Charles Eliot
Byron was well fitted by birth and temperament to be the spokesman of this fierce discontent.From Chaucer to Tennyson|Henry A. Beers
A friend of mine has three boys of widely opposite character and temperament.The Power of Womanhood, or Mothers and Sons|Ellice Hopkins
The use of high pitch is due to habit or temperament, but may be overcome through judicious practice.Talks on Talking|Grenville Kleiser
He may become foolish in opposite ways, especially if he is also an artist and has strength of temperament.Musical Criticisms|Arthur Johnstone
British Dictionary definitions for temperament
- 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
Word Origin for temperament
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.