[tem-per-it, tem-prit]


moderate or self-restrained; not extreme in opinion, statement, etc.: a temperate response to an insulting challenge.
moderate as regards indulgence of appetite or passion, especially in the use of alcoholic liquors.
not excessive in degree, as things, qualities, etc.
moderate in respect to temperature; not subject to prolonged extremes of hot or cold weather.
Microbiology. (of a virus) existing in infected host cells but rarely causing lysis.

Origin of temperate

1350–1400; Middle English temperat < Latin temperātus, past participle of temperāre to exercise restraint, control. See temper, -ate1
Related formstem·per·ate·ly, adverbtem·per·ate·ness, nounnon·tem·per·ate, adjectivenon·tem·per·ate·ly, adverbnon·tem·per·ate·ness, nounpre·tem·per·ate, adjectivepre·tem·per·ate·ly, adverbun·tem·per·ate, adjectiveun·tem·per·ate·ly, adverbun·tem·per·ate·ness, noun

Synonyms for temperate

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for temperate

Contemporary Examples of temperate

Historical Examples of temperate

  • Not a hand was raised—for his worst enemies could not deny that he was temperate and frugal.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • I am like the drunkard who admires a temperate life, yet can't pass a ginshop.

  • It was a mistake, then, was it, to be temperate and industrious?

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • A temperate and instructive contribution to railroad literature.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • He was temperate in his rationalism and thrifty in his philanthropy.

British Dictionary definitions for temperate



having a climate intermediate between tropical and polar; moderate or mild in temperature
mild in quality or character; exhibiting temperance
Derived Formstemperately, adverbtemperateness, noun

Word Origin for temperate

C14: from Latin temperātus
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 temperate

late 14c., of persons, "modest, forbearing, self-restrained," from Latin temperatus "restrained, regulated," from past participle of temperare "to moderate, regulate" (see temper (v.)). Applied to climates mid-15c.; temperate zone is attested from 1550s. Related: Temperately; temperateness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

temperate in Medicine


[tĕmpər-ĭt, tĕmprĭt]


Exercising moderation and self-restraint.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

temperate in Science



Marked by moderate temperatures, weather, or climate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.