View synonyms for temperamental


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


  1. having or exhibiting a strongly marked, individual temperament.
  2. moody, irritable, or sensitive:

    a temperamental artist.

    Synonyms: emotional, volatile, excitable

  3. given to erratic behavior; unpredictable.
  4. of or relating to temperament; constitutional:

    temperamental differences.


/ -prəˈmɛntəl; ˌtɛmpərəˈmɛntəl /


  1. easily upset or irritated; excitable; volatile
  2. of, relating to, or caused by temperament
  3. informal.
    working erratically and inconsistently; unreliable

    a temperamental sewing machine

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Derived Forms

  • ˌtemperaˈmentally, adverb

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Other Words From

  • temper·a·mental·ly adverb
  • nontem·per·a·mental adjective
  • nontem·per·a·mental·ly adverb
  • untem·per·a·mental adjective
  • untem·per·a·mental·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of temperamental1

First recorded in 1640–50; temperament + -al 1

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Example Sentences

From the urban and temperamental streets of Buenos Aires and vast pampas to extraordinary landscapes of Patagonia you find variety of objects and shapes to climb.

Mayli is a strong woman — very temperamental, self-confident — and she spoke to me that way.

Big Shot, premiering April 16, stars John Stamos as Marvyn Korn, a wildly successful but notoriously temperamental college basketball coach whose NCAA career comes to an abrupt halt following an ugly chair-throwing incident.

From Time

By decoupling creative excellence from the temperamental excesses of big-ego chefdom, the industry will develop new role models and new practices that promote healthier work environments.

From Eater

On the surface, the inventory is unpredictable and temperamental.

Both a rocket engine with a temperamental record and an airframe of revolutionary design and construction had to be proved safe.

His father could be temperamental and misogynistic, but the family was never plagued with major money-laundering or sex scandals.

In addition to his temperamental aversion to populism, Roosevelt also had a practical reason to be cautious.

There, Armstrong became famous for flying the dangerous and temperamental X-15 rocket plane.

If a writer is by definition a temperamental soul, than a Russian writer represents perhaps a most temperamental soul.

But they have not the invincible carelessness or temperamental springiness of the old lot—and how should they?

So temperamental a creature as Sylvia would be prone to exaggerate a situation.

She bore him one child, Rebecca, of a temperamental nature, and of deep piety like her mother.

I believe he is incapable of cruelty—physical, mental, or temperamental—quite incapable of it.

And now she will begin on her eternal subject: a dead friend who was done to death by her husband's temperamental cruelty.