[tem-poo r-uh]

Origin of tempura

1935–40; < Japanese tenpura, allegedly < Portuguese tempêro seasoning, taste (derivative of temperar to season < Latin temperāre; see temper)
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British Dictionary definitions for tempura


  1. a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables dipped in batter and deep-fried, often at the table

Word Origin for tempura

from Japanese: fried food
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 tempura

1920, from Japanese, probably from Portuguese tempero "seasoning."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper