Definition for DIS-TEM'PER

DIS-TEM'PER, n. [dis and temper.]

  1. Literally, an undue or unnatural temper, or disproportionate mixture of parts. Hence,
  2. Disease; malady; indisposition; any morbid state of an animal body, or of any part of it; a state in which the animal economy is deranged or imperfectly carried on. [See Disease.] It is used of the slighter diseases, but not exclusively. In general, it is synonymous with disease, and is particularly applied to the diseases of brutes.
  3. Want of due temperature, applied to climate; the literal sense of the word, but not now used. Countries under the tropic of a distemper uninhabitable. – Ralegh.
  4. Bad constitution of the mind; undue predominance of a passion or appetite. – Shak.
  5. Want of due balance of parts or opposite qualities and principles; as, the temper and distemper of an empire consist of contraries. [Not now used.] – Bacon.
  6. Ill humor of mind; depravity of inclination. [Not used.] – King Charles.
  7. Political disorder; tumult. – Waller.
  8. Uneasiness; ill humor or bad temper. There is a sickness, / Which puts some of us in distemper. – Shak.
  9. In painting, the mixing of colors with something besides oil and water. When colors are mixed with size, whites of eggs, or other unctuous or glutinous matter, and not with oil, it is said to be done in distemper.

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