- having a temper or disposition of a specified character (usually used in combination): a good-tempered child.
- Music. tuned in accordance with some other temperament than just or pure temperament, especially tuned in equal temperament.
- made less intense or violent, especially by the influence of something good or benign: justice tempered with mercy.
- properly moistened or mixed, as clay.
- Metallurgy. of or relating to steel or cast iron that has been tempered.
Origin of tempered
- a particular state of mind or feelings.
- habit of mind, especially with respect to irritability or patience, outbursts of anger, or the like; disposition: an even temper.
- heat of mind or passion, shown in outbursts of anger, resentment, etc.
- calm disposition or state of mind: to be out of temper.
- a substance added to something to modify its properties or qualities.
- the degree of hardness and strength imparted to a metal, as by quenching, heat treatment, or cold working.
- the percentage of carbon in tool steel.
- the operation of tempering.
- Archaic. a middle course; compromise.
- Obsolete. the constitution or character of a substance.
- to moderate or mitigate: to temper justice with mercy.
- to soften or tone down.
- to bring to a proper, suitable, or desirable state by or as by blending or admixture.
- to moisten, mix, and work up into proper consistency, as clay or mortar.
- Metallurgy. to impart strength or toughness to (steel or cast iron) by heating and cooling.
- to produce internal stresses in (glass) by sudden cooling from low red heat; toughen.
- to tune (a keyboard instrument, as a piano, organ, or harpsichord) so as to make the tones available in different keys or tonalities.
- to modify (color) by mixing with a medium.
- Archaic. to combine or blend in due proportions.
- Archaic. to pacify.
- to be or become tempered.
Origin of temper
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tempered
But for some of us, while its closing was sad, it was a tempered sadness.The Bookstore That Bewitched Mick Jagger, John Lennon, and Greta Garbo
December 16, 2014
It is illegal in China for a government official to keep a mistress, yet this has not tempered the trend.China’s Concubine Culture Lives On in Mistress Villages
April 14, 2014
Unfortunately, the calamity of a potential default has tempered neither judgment nor passion.The GOP’s Backdoor Impeachment Scheme
October 14, 2013
But this year, tempered by loss and a desire to rebrand, the crazy quotient was diminished if far from extinguished.More Sarah Palin Than Ronald Reagan: CPAC’s Paranoid Style
March 16, 2013
All of them have tempered their beliefs and describe themselves as Islamist modernizers.Al Qaeda’s Top Recruiting Tool: The CIA
February 20, 2013
It came from the furnace of the Revolution, tempered to the necessities of the times.
They are not necessary; they might be avoided; at their worst they could be tempered.The Conquest of Fear
His dismissal from the staff was a wise move, tempered by unexpected clemency.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
"I don't care who hears me," Adams said, harshly, though he tempered his loudness.Alice Adams
It was a hot morning in June, tempered by a wind from the north-west.Salted With Fire
- (of a scale) having the frequency differences between notes adjusted in accordance with the system of equal temperamentSee temperament
- (of an interval) expanded or contracted from the state of being pure
- (in combination) having a temper or temperament as specifiedill-tempered
- a frame of mind; mood or humoura good temper
- a sudden outburst of anger; tantrum
- a tendency to exhibit uncontrolled anger; irritability
- a mental condition of moderation and calm (esp in the phrases keep one's temper, lose one's temper, out of temper)
- the degree of hardness, elasticity, or a similar property of a metal or metal object
- to make more temperate, acceptable, or suitable by adding something else; moderatehe tempered his criticism with kindly sympathy
- to strengthen or toughen (a metal or metal article) by heat treatment, as by heating and quenching
- to adjust the frequency differences between the notes of a scale on (a keyboard instrument) in order to allow modulation into other keys
- to make such an adjustment to the pitches of notes in (a scale)
- a rare word for adapt
- an archaic word for mix
Word Origin and History for tempered
late 14c., "due proportion of elements or qualities," from temper (v.). The sense of "characteristic state of mind" is first recorded 1590s; that of "calm state of mind" in c.1600; and that of "angry state of mind" (for bad temper) in 1828. Meaning "degree of hardness and resiliency in steel" is from late 15c.
late Old English temprian "to bring to a proper or suitable state, to modify some excessive quality, to restrain within due limits," from Latin temperare "to mix correctly, moderate, regulate, blend," usually described as from tempus "time, season" (see temporal), with a sense of "proper time or season," but the sense history is obscure. Meaning "to make (steel) hard and elastic" is from late 14c. Sense of "to tune the pitch of a musical instrument" is recorded from c.1300. Related: Tempered; tempering.
- A state of mind or emotions; mood.
- A tendency to become easily angry or irritable.
- An outburst of rage.
Idioms and Phrases with tempered
see hold one's temper; lose one's temper.