[ tem-per-uh-muhnt, -pruh-muhnt, -per-muhnt ]
See synonyms for temperament on Thesaurus.com
  1. the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition.

  2. 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.

  1. (old physiology) the combination of the four cardinal humors, the relative proportions of which were supposed to determine physical and mental constitution.

  2. Music.

    • 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.

  3. Archaic. an act of tempering or moderating.

  4. Archaic. climate.

Origin of temperament

1375–1425; late Middle English <Latin temperāmentum due mixture, equivalent to temperā(re) to mix properly + -mentum-ment

synonym study For temperament

1. See disposition.

Other words for temperament

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How to use temperament in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for temperament


/ (ˈtɛmpərəmənt, -prəmənt) /

  1. an individual's character, disposition, and tendencies as revealed in his reactions

  2. excitability, moodiness, or anger, esp when displayed openly: an actress with temperament

  1. the characteristic way an individual behaves, esp towards other people: See 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 semitones: See also just intonation

  2. 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)

  3. archaic compromise or adjustment

  4. an obsolete word for temperature

Origin of temperament

C15: from Latin temperāmentum a mixing in proportion, from temperāre to temper

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