Dictionary: TEM'PER – TEM'PLE

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  1. Due mixture of different qualities; or the state of any compound substance which results from the mixture of various ingredients; as, the temper of mortar.
  2. Constitution of body. [In this sense we more generally use temperament.]
  3. Disposition of mind; the constitution of the mind, particularly with regard to the passions and affections; as, a calm temper; a hasty temper; a fretful temper. This is applicable to beasts as well as to man. Remember with what mild / And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd. Milton.
  4. Calmness of mind; moderation. Restore yourselves to your tempers, fathers. B. Jonson. To fall with dignity, with temper rise. Pope.
  5. Heat of mind or passion; irritation. The boy showed a great deal of temper when I reproved him. So we say, a man of violent temper, when we speak of his irritability. [This use of the word is common, though a deviation from its original and genuine meaning.]
  6. The state of a metal, particularly as to its hardness; as, the temper of iron or steel. Sharp.
  7. Middle course; mean or medium. Swift.
  8. In sugar works, white lime or other substance stirred into a clarifier filled with cane-juice, to neutralize the superabundant acid. Edwards, W. Indies.

TEM'PER, v.t. [L. tempero, to mix or moderate; It. temperare; Sp. templar, to temper, to soften or moderate, to anneal, as glass, to tune an instrument, to trim sails to the wind; Fr. temperer, to temper, allay or abate; W. tymperu, to temper, to mollify; tym, space; tymp, enlargement, birth, season. The latter unites this word with time. The sense of this word is probably from making seasonable, or timely; hence to make suitable.]

  1. To mix so that one part qualifies the other; to bring to a moderate state; as, to temper justice with mercy. Milton.
  2. To compound; to form by mixture; to qualify, as by an ingredient; or in general, to mix, unite or combine two or more things so as to reduce the excess of the qualities of either, and bring the whole to the desired consistence or state. Thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy. Exod. xxx.
  3. To unite in due proportion; to render symmetrical; to adjust, as parts to each other. God hath tempered the body together. 1 Cor. xii.
  4. To accommodate; to modify. Thy sustenance serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking. Wisdom.
  5. To soften; to mollify; to assuage; to soothe; to calm; to reduce any violence or excess. Solon – labored to temper the warlike courages of the Athenians with sweet delights of learning. Spenser. Woman! nature made thee, / To temper man; we had been brutes without you. Otway.
  6. To form to a proper degree of hardness; as, to temper iron or steel. The temper'd metals clash, and yield a silver sound. Dryden.
  7. To govern; a Latinism. [Not in use.] Spenser.
  8. In music, to modify or amend a false or imperfect concord by transferring to it a part of the beauty of a perfect one, that is, by dividing the tones. Cyc.

TEM'PER-A-MENT, n. [Fr., from L. temperamentum.]

  1. Constitution; state with respect to the predominance of any quality; as, the temperament of the body. Bodies are denominated hot and cold, in proportion to the present temperament of that part of our body to which they are applied. Locke.
  2. Medium; due mixture of different qualities. The common last – has reduced the kingdom to its just state and temperament. Hale.
  3. In music, temperament is an operation which, by means of a slight alteration in the intervals, causes the difference between two contiguous sounds to disappear, and makes each of them appear identical with the other. Rousseau. Temperament is the accommodation or adjustment of the imperfect sounds, by transferring a part of their defects to the more perfect ones, to remedy in part the false intervals of instruments of fixed sounds, as the organ, harpsichord, forte piano, &c. Busby. The harshness of a given concord increases with the temperament. Prof. Fisher.


Constitutional. [Not much used.] Brown.

TEM'PER-ANCE, n. [Fr., from L. temperantia, from tempero.]

  1. Moderation; particularly, habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; as, temperance in eating and drinking; temperance in the indulgence of joy or mirth. Temperance in eating and drinking is opposed to gluttony and drunkenness, and in other indulgences, to excess.
  2. Patience; calmness; sedateness; moderation of passion. He calm'd his wrath with goodly temperance. Spenser. [Unusual.]

TEM'PER-ATE, a. [L. temperatus.]

  1. Moderate; not excessive; as, temperate heat; a temperate climate; temperate air. Bacon.
  2. Moderate in the indulgence of the appetites and passions; as, temperate in eating and drinking; temperate in pleasures; temperate in speech. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Franklin.
  3. Cool; calm; not marked with passion; not violent; as a temperate discourse or address; temperate language.
  4. Proceeding from temperance; as, temperate sleep. Pope.
  5. Free from ardent passion. She is not hot, but temperate as the morn. Shak. Temperate zone, the space on the earth between the tropics and the polar circles, where the heat is less than in the tropics, and the cold less than in the polar circles.


  1. Moderately; without excess or extravagance.
  2. Calmly; without violence of passion; as, to reprove one temperately.
  3. With moderate force. Winds that temperately blow. Addison.


  1. Moderation; freedom from excess; as, the temperateness of the weather or of a climate.
  2. Calmness; coolness of mind. Daniel.


Having the power or quality of tempering.

TEM'PER-A-TURE, n. [Fr., from L. temperatura.]

  1. In physics, the state of a body with regard to heat or cold, as indicated by the thermometer; or the degree of free caloric which a body possesses, when compared with other bodies. When a body applied to another, expands that body, we say it is of a higher temperature; that is, it possesses more free caloric. When it contracts another body, it is said to be of a lower temperature. Thus we speak of the temperature of air, of water, of a climate, &c.; two countries of the same temperature.
  2. Constitution; state; degree of any quality. Memory depends upon the consistence and temperature of the brain. Watts.
  3. Moderation; freedom from immoderate passions. In that proud port, which her so goodly graceth, / Most goodly temperature you may descry. Spenser. [Not in use.]


  1. Duly mixed or modified; reduced to a proper state; softened; allayed; hardened.
  2. Adjusted by musical temperament.
  3. adj. Disposed; as, a well tempered, good tempered, or bad tempered man.


Mixing and qualifying; qualifying by mixture; softening; mollifying; reducing to a state of moderation; hardening.

TEM'PEST, n. [Fr. tempête; L. tempestas; Sp. tempestad; It. tempesta; from L. tempus, time, season. The primary sense of tempus, time, is a falling, or that which falls, comes or happens, from some verb which signifies to fall or come suddenly, or rather to drive, to rush. Time is properly a coming, a season, that which presents itself, or is present. The sense of tempest, is from the sense of rushing or driving. See Temerity and Temerarious.]

  1. An extensive current of wind, rushing with great velocity and violence; a storm of extreme violence. We usually apply the word to a steady wind of long continuance; but we say also of a tornado, it blew a tempest. The currents of wind are named, according to their respective degrees of force or rapidity, a breeze, a gale, a storm, a tempest; but gale is also used as synonymous with storm, and storm with tempest. Gust is usually applied to a sudden blast of short duration. A tempest may or may not be attended with rain, snow or hail We, caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurl'd / Each on his rock transfixed. Milton.
  2. A violent tumult or commotion; as, a popular or political tempest; the tempest of war.
  3. Perturbation; violent agitation; as, a tempest of the passions.

TEM'PEST, v.t.

To disturb as by a tempest. [Little used.] Milton.

TEM'PEST-BEAT-EN, a. [tempest and beat.]

Beaten or shattered with storms. Dryden.



TEM-PEST-IV'I-TY, n. [L. tempestivus.]

Seasonableness. [Not in use.] Brown.

TEM'PEST-TOST, a. [tempest and tost.]

Tossed or driven about by tempests. Shak.

TEM-PEST'U-OUS, a. [Sp. tempestuoso; It. tempestoso; Fr. tempêtueux.]

  1. Very stormy; turbulent; rough with wind; as, tempestuous weather; a tempestuous night.
  2. Blowing with violence; as, a tempestuous wind.


With great violence of wind or great commotion; turbulently. Milton.


Storminess; the state of being tempestuous or disturbed by violent winds; as, the tempestuousness of the winter or of weather.

TEM'PLAR, n. [from the Temple, a house near the Thames, which originally belonged to the knights Templars. The latter took their denomination from an apartment of the palace of Baldwin II. in Jerusalem, near the temple.]

  1. A student of the law. Pope.
  2. Templars, knights of the Temple, a religious military order, first established at Jerusalem in favor of pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. The order originated with some persons who, in 1118, devoted themselves to the service of God, promising to live in perpetual chastity, obedience and poverty, after the manner of canons. In 1228, this order was confirmed in the council of Troyes, and subjected to a rule of discipline. It flourished, became immensely rich, and its members become so insolent and vicious, that the order was suppressed by the council of Vienne, in 1312. Cyc.

TEM'PLE, n.1 [Fr., L. templum; It. tempio; Sp. templo; W. temyl, temple, that is extended, a seat; temlu, to form a seat, expanse or temple; Gaelic, teampul.]

  1. A public edifice erected in honor of some deity. Among pagans, a building erected to some pretended deity, and in which the people assembled to worship. Originally, temples were open places, as the Stonehenge in England. In Rome, some of the temples were open, and called sacella; others were roofed, and called ædes. The most celebrated of the ancient pagan temples were that of Belus in Babylon, that of Vulcan at Memphis, that of Jupiter at Thebes, that of Diana at Ephesus, that of Apollo in Miletus, that of Jupiter Olympius in Athens, and that of Apollo at Delphi. The most celebrated and magnificent temple erected to the true God, was that built by Solomon in Jerusalem. In Scripture, the tabernacle is sometimes called by this name. 1 Sam. i. – iii.
  2. A church; an edifice erected among Christians as a place of public worship. Can he whose life is a perpetual insult to the authority of God, enter with any pleasure a temple consecrated to devotion and sanctified by prayer? Buckminster.
  3. A place in which the divine presence specially resides; the church as a collective body. Eph. ii.
  4. In England, the Temples are two inns of court, thus called because anciently the dwellings of the knights Templars. They are called the Inner and the Middle Temple.

TEM'PLE, n.2 [L. tempus, tempora. The primary sense of the root of this word is to fall. See Time.]

  1. Literally, the fall of the head; the part where the head slopes from the top.
  2. In anatomy, the anterior and lateral part of the head, where the skull is covered by the temporal muscles. Cyc.

TEM'PLE, v.t.

To build a temple for; to appropriate a temple to. [Little used.] Feltham.