verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to be or become tempered.

Nearby words

  1. temp.,
  2. tempe,
  3. tempe, vale of,
  4. tempeh,
  5. tempelhof,
  6. temper color,
  7. temper tantrum,
  8. tempera,
  9. temperament,
  10. temperamental

Origin of temper

before 1000; (v.) Middle English tempren, Old English temprian < Latin temperāre to divide or proportion duly, temper; (noun) Middle English: proportion, derivative of the v.

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See disposition. 10. See modify.

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

Examples from the Web for tempering

British Dictionary definitions for tempering



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

verb (tr)

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
  1. to adjust the frequency differences between the notes of a scale on (a keyboard instrument) in order to allow modulation into other keys
  2. to make such an adjustment to the pitches of notes in (a scale)
a rare word for adapt
an archaic word for mix
Derived Formstemperable, adjectivetemperability, nountemperer, noun

Word Origin for temper

Old English temprian to mingle, (influenced by Old French temprer), from Latin temperāre to mix, probably from tempus time

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 tempering
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for tempering




A state of mind or emotions; mood.
A tendency to become easily angry or irritable.
An outburst of rage.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with tempering


see hold one's temper; lose one's temper.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.