[tem-per-uh-men-tl, -pruh-men-, -per-men-]


having or exhibiting a strongly marked, individual temperament.
moody, irritable, or sensitive: a temperamental artist.
given to erratic behavior; unpredictable.
of or relating to temperament; constitutional: temperamental differences.

Origin of temperamental

First recorded in 1640–50; temperament + -al1
Related formstem·per·a·men·tal·ly, adverbnon·tem·per·a·men·tal, adjectivenon·tem·per·a·men·tal·ly, adverbun·tem·per·a·men·tal, adjectiveun·tem·per·a·men·tal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for temperamental

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for temperamental

Contemporary Examples of temperamental

Historical Examples of temperamental

  • Jeff could almost feel the whiff and wind of the temperamental rush.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • Between these men there were temperamental differences as wide as the ocean.

    Union and Democracy

    Allen Johnson

  • But Bates would be; he had imagination and was temperamental.

  • Scott, who was 50 temperamental, as out-of-doors men often are, felt it keenly.

    Across the Mesa

    Jarvis Hall

  • He knew how temperamental was the pleasure-seeking stranger.

    The Rat Racket

    David Henry Keller

British Dictionary definitions for temperamental



easily upset or irritated; excitable; volatile
of, relating to, or caused by temperament
informal working erratically and inconsistently; unreliablea temperamental sewing machine
Derived Formstemperamentally, adverb
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 temperamental

"of or pertaining to temperament," 1640s, from temperament; in the sense of "moody" it is recorded from 1907.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper