[ tem-puh-rer-ee ]
See synonyms for: temporarytemporariestemporarily on Thesaurus.com

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

noun,plural tem·po·rar·ies.

Origin of temporary

First recorded in 1540–50; from Latin temporārius, equivalent to tempor- (stem of tempus ) “time” + -ārius -ary

synonym study For temporary

1. 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.

Other words for temporary

Opposites for temporary

Other words from temporary

  • tem·po·rar·i·ly [tem-puh-rair-uh-lee, tem-puh-rer-], /ˌtɛm pəˈrɛər ə li, ˈtɛm pəˌrɛr-/, adverb
  • tem·po·rar·i·ness, noun
  • non·tem·po·rar·i·ness, noun
  • non·tem·po·rar·y, adjective
  • un·tem·po·rar·y, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use temporary in a sentence

  • It was the planlessness, the flimsy temporariness of the buildings, their faded unpleasant colors.

    Main Street | Sinclair Lewis
  • The only effect it had on the position was that Uncle Mo's temporariness got a little boastful, and slighted his permanency.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost | William Frend De Morgan

British Dictionary definitions for temporary


/ (ˈtɛmpərərɪ, ˈtɛmprərɪ) /

  1. not permanent; provisional: temporary accommodation

  2. lasting only a short time; transitory: temporary relief from pain

nounplural -raries
  1. a person, esp a secretary or other office worker, employed on a temporary basis: Often shortened to: temp

Origin of temporary

C16: from Latin temporārius, from tempus time

Derived forms of temporary

  • temporarily, adverb
  • temporariness, noun

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