AskDefine | Define temper

Dictionary Definition



1 a sudden outburst of anger; "his temper sparked like damp firewood" [syn: pique, irritation]
2 a characteristic (habitual or relatively temporary) state of feeling; "whether he praised or cursed me depended on his temper at the time"; "he was in a bad humor" [syn: mood, humor, humour]
3 a disposition to exhibit uncontrolled anger; "his temper was well known to all his employees" [syn: biliousness, irritability, peevishness, pettishness, snappishness, surliness]
4 the elasticity and hardness of a metal object; its ability to absorb considerable energy before cracking [syn: toughness]


1 toughen (steel or glass) by a process of gradually heating and cooling; "temper glass" [syn: anneal, normalize]
2 harden by reheating and cooling in oil; "temper steel" [syn: harden]
3 adjust the pitch (of pianos)
4 make more temperate, acceptable, or suitable by adding something else; moderate; "she tempered her criticism" [syn: season, mollify]
5 restrain or temper [syn: chasten, moderate]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A tendency to anger or lose patience easily.
    He has quite a temper when dealing with salespeople.
  2. The heat treatment to which a metal or other material has been subjected; a material that has undergone a particular heat treatment.


tendency to anger or lose patience easily
heat treatment
  • Portuguese(Brazil): pavio-curto, tempero


  1. To moderate or control.
    Temper your language around children.
  2. To heat-treat a material, particularly a metal.
    Next, temper the steel by dropping the white hot metal into cold water.
  3. To mix clay, plaster or mortar with water to obtain the proper consistency


to moderate or control
to head-treat
to mix
translations to be checked

Extensive Definition

Temperare (to mix correctly) is the Latin origin of words like "temperature" and "tempering"; it and "tempo" come, in turn, from tempus (time or season). Thus, the word "temper" can refer (at least informally) to any time- and temperature-sensitive process (as for chocolate tempering or tempered glass), a material's thermo-mechanical history (including cold work and cryogenic hardening), or even its composition.
Temper may mean:
  • Temper-3D, CAD program for calculating temperature in any 3D objects
  • Tempering, in metallurgy, a heat treatment technique for metals and alloys; also a method for producing toughened glass
  • Tempering, in cooking, refers to the frying of spices (particularly in the cuisines of South Asia) to release their aroma; called chaunk in Hindi
  • In music, temper describes the method used to tune an instrument to produce a pleasing sound
  • The Well-Tempered Clavier is a composition by Bach making use of well tempered tuning
  • Tempered representation in mathematics
  • Temperament, in psychology, the general nature of an individual's personality
  • Tempering, in chocolate manufacture, a method of increasing the shine and durability of chocolate couverture
  • A display of anger
  • Temper (band), an American dance music group

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Irish, abate, adjust, adjust to, allay, alleviate, alter, anger, animus, anneal, appease, aptitude, assuage, atmosphere, attain majority, attemper, attribute, aura, bad temper, balance, bank the fire, be tough, beef up, bent, besprinkle, bias, bloom, blunt, body-build, box in, brace, brace up, brand, breathe, brew, buttress, calcify, callous, calmness, case harden, cast, character, characteristic, characteristics, chasten, chisel temper, churlishness, circumscribe, climate, color, come of age, come to maturity, complexion, composition, composure, condition, confirm, conniption, constituents, constitution, constrain, control, cool, coolness, cornify, crasis, cue, curb, cushion, damp, dampen, dander, de-emphasize, deaden, decoct, develop, dharma, diathesis, die temper, dilute, diminish, disposition, downplay, dredge, drift, dull, dye, ease, eccentricity, endure, entincture, equanimity, ethos, extenuate, fiber, fierce temper, fiery temper, firm, firmness, fit, flavor, fledge, flower, fortify, fossilize, frame, frame of mind, fury, genius, gird, grain, grow, grow up, habit, hang tough, harden, hardness, hardness scale, heart, heat treating, hedge, hedge about, hot blood, hot temper, hotheadedness, hue, huffishness, humor, humors, idiosyncrasy, ilk, ill humor, ill temper, imbrue, imbue, impregnate, inclination, indenter, individualism, individuality, indurate, infiltrate, infuse, instill, invigorate, irascibility, ire, irritability, irritable temper, keep within bounds, kidney, kind, lapidify, lay, leaning, leave the nest, leaven, lenify, lessen, lighten, limit, lithify, make, makeup, mature, mellow, mental set, mettle, mind, mind-set, mitigate, moderate, modify, modulate, mold, mollify, mood, morale, narrow, nature, nerve, note, obtund, orientation, ossify, outburst, outlook, pacify, paddy, palliate, passion, peculiarity, peevishness, penetrate, permeate, personality, pervade, petrify, petulance, physique, play down, posture, precipitation hardening, predilection, predisposition, preference, proclivity, prop, propensity, property, qualify, quality, rage, razor temper, reach manhood, reach twenty-one, reach voting age, reduce, reduce the temperature, refresh, regulate by, reinforce, reinvigorate, relax, restrain, restrengthen, restrict, ripen, sang-froid, saturate, saw file temper, season, self-control, self-possession, set, set conditions, set limits, set temper, settle down, shore up, short temper, slacken, slant, slow down, smother, sober, sober down, soften, solidity, somatotype, soothe, sort, soundness, spindle temper, spirit, spirits, spunkiness, stability, stamp, state, state of mind, staunchness, steel, steep, stiffen, stifle, stoutness, strain, streak, strengthen, stripe, sturdiness, style, subdue, suchness, suffuse, support, suppress, surliness, sustain, system, tame, tantrum, temper tantrum, temperament, tempering, tendency, tenor, timbre, tincture, tinge, toga virilis, tone, tone down, tool temper, toughen, transfuse, trend, tune down, turn, turn of mind, twist, type, undergird, underplay, vein, vitrify, volatility, warm temper, warp, wax, way, weaken
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