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Webster 1913 Edition


Temper

Tem′per

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Tempered
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Tempering
.]
[AS.
temprian
or OF.
temper
, F.
tempérer
, and (in sense 3)
temper
, L.
temperare
, akin to
tempus
time. Cf.
Temporal
,
Distemper
,
Tamper
.]
1.
To mingle in due proportion; to prepare by combining; to modify, as by adding some new element; to qualify, as by an ingredient; hence, to soften; to mollify; to assuage; to soothe; to calm.
Puritan austerity was so
tempered
by Dutch indifference, that mercy itself could not have dictated a milder system.
Bancroft.
Woman! lovely woman! nature made thee
To
temper
man: we had been brutes without you.
Otway.
But thy fire
Shall be more
tempered
, and thy hope far higher.
Byron.
She [the Goddess of Justice] threw darkness and clouds about her, that
tempered
the light into a thousand beautiful shades and colors.
Addison.
2.
To fit together; to adjust; to accomodate.
Thy sustenance . . . serving to the appetite of the eater,
tempered
itself to every man’s liking.
Wisdom xvi. 21.
3.
(Metal.)
To bring to a proper degree of hardness;
as, to
temper
iron or steel
.
The
tempered
metals clash, and yield a silver sound.
Dryden.
4.
To govern; to manage.
[A Latinism & Obs.]
With which the damned ghosts he governeth,
And furies rules, and Tartare
tempereth
.
Spenser.
5.
To moisten to a proper consistency and stir thoroughly, as clay for making brick, loam for molding, etc.
6.
(Mus.)
To adjust, as the mathematical scale to the actual scale, or to that in actual use.
Syn. – To soften; mollify; assuage; soothe; calm.

Tem′per

,
Noun.
1.
The state of any compound substance which results from the mixture of various ingredients; due mixture of different qualities; just combination;
as, the
temper
of mortar
.
2.
Constitution of body; temperament; in old writers, the mixture or relative proportion of the four humors, blood, choler, phlegm, and melancholy.
The exquisiteness of his [Christ's] bodily
temper
increased the exquisiteness of his torment.
Fuller.
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
.
Remember with what mild
And gracious
temper
he both heared and judged.
Milton.
The consequents of a certain ethical
temper
.
J. H. Newman.
4.
Calmness of mind; moderation; equanimity; composure;
as, to keep one's
temper
.
To fall with dignity, with
temper
rise.
Pope.
Restore yourselves to your
tempers
, fathers.
B. Jonson.
5.
Heat of mind or passion; irritation; proneness to anger; – in a reproachful sense.
[Colloq.]
6.
The state of a metal or other substance, especially as to its hardness, produced by some process of heating or cooling;
as, the
temper
of iron or steel
.
7.
Middle state or course; mean; medium.
[R.]
The perfect lawgiver is a just
temper
between the mere man of theory, who can see nothing but general principles, and the mere man of business, who can see nothing but particular circumstances.
Macaulay.
8.
(Sugar Works)
Milk of lime, or other substance, employed in the process formerly used to clarify sugar.
Temper screw
,
in deep well boring, an adjusting screw connecting the working beam with the rope carrying the tools, for lowering the tools as the drilling progresses.
Syn. – Disposition; temperament; frame; humor; mood. See
Disposition
.

Tem′per

,
Verb.
I.
1.
To accord; to agree; to act and think in conformity.
[Obs.]
Shak.
2.
To have or get a proper or desired state or quality; to grow soft and pliable.
I have him already
tempering
between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him.
Shakespeare

Webster 1828 Edition


Temper

TEM'PER

,
Verb.
T.
[L. tempero, to mix or moderate]
1.
To mix so that one part qualifies the other; to bring to a moderate state; as, to temper justice with mercy.
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. Ex.30.
3.
To unite in due proportion; to render symmetrical; to adjust, as parts to each other.
God hath tempered the body together. 1 Cor.12.
4.
To accommodate; to modify.
Thy sustenance serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking.
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.
Woman! nature made thee
To temper man; we had been brutes without you.
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.
7.
To govern; a Latinism. [Not in use.]
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.

TEM'PER

,
Noun.
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.
1.
Constitution of body. [In this sense we more generally use temperament.]
2.
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.
3.
Calmness of mind; moderation.
Restore yourselves unto your tempers, fathers.
To fall with dignity, with temper rise.
4.
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.]
5.
The state of a metal, particularly as to its hardness; as the temper of iron or steel.
6.
Middle course; mean or medium.
7.
In sugar works, white lime or other substance stirred into a clarifier filled with cane-juice, to neutralize the super abundant acid.

Definition 2022


temper

temper

English

Alternative forms

Noun

temper (countable and uncountable, plural tempers)

  1. A tendency to be of a certain type of mood.
    to have a good, bad, calm, or hasty temper
    He has quite a (bad) temper when dealing with salespeople.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Afore we got to the shanty Colonel Applegate stuck his head out of the door. His temper had been getting raggeder all the time, and the sousing he got when he fell overboard had just about ripped what was left of it to ravellings.
  2. State of mind.
    • 1719- Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      [] I must testify, from my experience, that a temper of peace, thankfulness, love, and affection, is much the more proper frame for prayer than that of terror and discomposure []
  3. The state of any compound substance which results from the mixture of various ingredients; due mixture of different qualities.
    the temper of mortar
  4. (obsolete) Constitution of body; the mixture or relative proportion of the four humours: blood, choler, phlegm, and melancholy.
    • Fuller
      The exquisiteness of his [Christ's] bodily temper increased the exquisiteness of his torment.
  5. The heat treatment to which a metal or other material has been subjected; a material that has undergone a particular heat treatment.
  6. Calmness of mind; moderation; equanimity; composure.
    to keep one's temper
    • Alexander Pope
      To fall with dignity, with temper rise.
    • Ben Jonson
      Restore yourselves to your tempers, fathers.
  7. The state of a metal or other substance, especially as to its hardness, produced by some process of heating or cooling.
    the temper of iron or steel
  8. Middle state or course; mean; medium.
    • Macaulay
      The perfect lawgiver is a just temper between the mere man of theory, who can see nothing but general principles, and the mere man of business, who can see nothing but particular circumstances.
  9. (sugar manufacture, historical) Milk of lime, or other substance, employed in the process formerly used to clarify sugar.

Derived terms

Synonyms

Coordinate terms

Translations

Verb

temper (third-person singular simple present tempers, present participle tempering, simple past and past participle tempered)

  1. To moderate or control.
    Temper your language around children.
  2. To strengthen or toughen a material, especially metal, by heat treatment; anneal.
    Tempering is a heat treatment technique applied to metals, alloys, and glass to achieve greater toughness by increasing the strength of materials and/or ductility. Tempering is performed by a controlled reheating of the work piece to a temperature below its lower eutectic critical temperature.
    • Dryden
      The tempered metals clash, and yield a silver sound.
  3. To sauté spices in ghee or oil to release essential oils for flavouring a dish in South Asian cuisine.
  4. To mix clay, plaster or mortar with water to obtain the proper consistency.
  5. (music) To adjust, as the mathematical scale to the actual scale, or to that in actual use.
  6. (obsolete, Latinism) To govern; to manage.
    • Spenser
      With which the damned ghosts he governeth, / And furies rules, and Tartare tempereth.
  7. (archaic) To combine in due proportions; to constitute; to compose.
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 3 scene 3
      You fools! I and my fellows
      Are ministers of fate: the elements
      Of whom your swords are temper'd may as well
      Wound the loud winds, or with bemock'd-at stabs
      Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish
      One dowle that's in my plume; []
  8. (archaic) To mingle in due proportion; to prepare by combining; to modify, as by adding some new element; to qualify, as by an ingredient; hence, to soften; to mollify; to assuage.
    • Bancroft
      Puritan austerity was so tempered by Dutch indifference, that mercy itself could not have dictated a milder system.
    • Otway
      Woman! lovely woman! nature made thee / To temper man: we had been brutes without you.
    • Byron
      But thy fire / Shall be more tempered, and thy hope far higher.
    • Addison
      She [the Goddess of Justice] threw darkness and clouds about her, that tempered the light into a thousand beautiful shades and colours.
  9. (obsolete) To fit together; to adjust; to accommodate.
    • Bible, Wisdom xvi. 21
      Thy sustenance [] serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking.

Translations