lasting, existing, serving, or effective for a time only; not permanent: a temporary need; a temporary job.

noun, plural tem·po·rar·ies.

an office worker hired, usually through an agency on a per diem basis, for a short period of time.

Origin of temporary

1540–50; < Latin temporārius, equivalent to tempor- (stem of tempus) time + -ārius -ary
Related formstem·po·rar·i·ly [tem-puh-rair-uh-lee, tem-puh-rer-] /ˌtɛm pəˈrɛər ə li, ˈtɛm pəˌrɛr-/, adverbtem·po·rar·i·ness, nounnon·tem·po·rar·i·ly, adverbnon·tem·po·rar·i·ness, nounnon·tem·po·rar·y, adjectiveun·tem·po·rar·y, adjective

Synonyms for temporary

1. impermanent, passing. Temporary, transient, transitory agree in referring to that which is not lasting or permanent. Temporary implies an arrangement established with no thought of continuance but with the idea of being changed soon: a temporary structure. Transient describes that which is in the process of passing by, and which will therefore last or stay only a short time: a transient condition. Transitory describes an innate characteristic by which a thing, by its very nature, lasts only a short time: Life is transitory.

Antonyms for temporary

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

Related Words for temporarily

briefly, transiently

Examples from the Web for temporarily

Contemporary Examples of temporarily

Historical Examples of temporarily

  • But be careful; most of the things are only temporarily mounted—just in glycerine.

  • Oddly enough, the shock of recognition brought him to his senses,—temporarily.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Temporarily dumb with consternation, he returned her stare as silently.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • The theatre had been completed in my absence, and, indeed, temporarily opened.

    Adventures and Recollections

    Bill o'th' Hoylus End

  • And he reports me either drunk or temporarily insane, does he?

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

British Dictionary definitions for temporarily



not permanent; provisionaltemporary accommodation
lasting only a short time; transitorytemporary relief from pain

noun plural -raries

a person, esp a secretary or other office worker, employed on a temporary basisOften shortened to: temp
Derived Formstemporarily, adverbtemporariness, noun

Word Origin for temporary

C16: from Latin temporārius, 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 temporarily



1540s, from Latin temporarius "of seasonal character, lasting a short time," from tempus (genitive temporis) "time, season" (see temporal). The noun meaning "person employed only for a time" is recorded from 1848.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper