American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The manner of thinking, behaving, or reacting characteristic of a specific person: a nervous temperament. See Synonyms at disposition.
- n. The distinguishing mental and physical characteristics of a human according to medieval physiology, resulting from dominance of one of the four humors.
- n. Excessive irritability or sensitiveness: an actor with too much temperament.
- n. Music Equal temperament.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. State with respect to the relative proportion of qualities or constituent parts; constitution; mixture of opposite or different qualities; a condition resulting from the blending of various qualities.
- n. That individual peculiarity of physical organization by which the manner of acting, feeling, and thinking of every person is permanently affected: as, a phlegmatic temperament; a sanguine temperament; the artistic temperament. Certain temperamental types have long been recognized (see the phrases below); they may serve the purposes of description, but do not represent any very well marked natural groups.
- n. A middle course or an arrangement reached by mutual concession, as by a tempering of extreme claims on either side; adjustment of conflicting influences, as passions, interests, or doctrines, or the means by which such adjustment is effected; compromise.
- n. Condition as to heat or cold; temperature.
- n. In music, the principle or system of tuning in accordance with which the tones of an instrument of fixed intonation are tuned, or those of the voice or of an instrument of free intonation are modulated in a given case. The relative pitch of the tones of an ideal scale may be fixed with mathematical precision. An instrument tuned so as to produce such a scale, or a voice or instrument using the intervals of such a scale, is said to be tuned or modulated in pure or just temperament. So long as these tones only-are used, no further adjustment is necessary. But if modulation be attempted, so that some other tone than the original one becomes the key-note, one or more intercalary tones are required, and the relative pitch of some of the original tones has to be altered. To fit an instrument for varied modulations, therefore, either a large number of separate tones must be provided for, or the pitch of some of them must be slightly modified, so that a single tone may-serve equally well for either of two or more tones whose pitches are theoretically different. This subject is necessarily of great practical importance in the construction of keyboard-instruments, like the pianoforte and the organ. Until comparatively recently such instruments were tuned in mean-tone or mesotonic temperament, so called because based on the use of a standard whole step or mean tone, which is an interval half-way between a greater and a less major second (see
second, step, and tone). This standard was applied to the tuning of twelve digitals to the octave—namely, C, C♯, D, E♭ E, F, F♯, G, G♯, A, B♭, and B; and provided for harmonious effects only in the keys (tonalities) of C, D, F, G, A, and B♭ major, and of D, G, and A minor. Other tonalities presented an intolerable deviation from pure temperament, which was called the “wolf.” As the demand for greater freedom of modulation increased, various plans were tried for using more than twelve digitals to the octave, or for distributing the “wolf” more equally. The result of the latter effort is the system of equal or even temperament, first advocated by J. S. Bach early in the eighteenth century, though not universally adopted until the middle of the nineteenth century, in which the standard interval is the mean semitone—that is, the twelfth part of an octave. This distributes the “wolf” among all the tones of the instrument, so that the only intervals exactly true are octaves. Modulation, therefore, is made equally free in all directions: but, on the other hand, all chords are more or less out of tune. The benefits of the system in the way of providing a simple keyboard for music in many tonalities are largely counterbalanced by the constant deterioration of the sense of pure intonation on the part of those who use instruments tuned in this compromise temperament. This unmistakable disadvantage, reinforced by the fact that keyboard-instruments are much used in conjunction with the voice and with instruments of free intonation, like the violin, in which a just temperament is to be expected, has led to many new experiments with keyboards of more than twelve digitals to the octave, but without any result suitable for general adoption. Temperaments are sometimes known by various technical names, usually designating the interval chosen as a unit of measurement, such as commatic, schistic, etc.
- To constitute as regards temperament.
- n. obsolete A moderate and proportionable mixture of elements or ingredients in a compound; the condition in which elements are mixed in their proper proportions.
- n. obsolete Any state or condition as determined by the proportion of its ingredients or the manner in which they are mixed; consistence, composition; mixture.
- n. a person's normal manner of thinking, behaving or reacting
- n. a tendency to become irritable or angry
- n. music the altering of certain intervals from their correct values in order to improve the moving from key to key
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Internal constitution; state with respect to the relative proportion of different qualities, or constituent parts.
- n. obsolete Due mixture of qualities; a condition brought about by mutual compromises or concessions.
- n. The act of tempering or modifying; adjustment, as of clashing rules, interests, passions, or the like; also, the means by which such adjustment is effected.
- n. obsolete Condition with regard to heat or cold; temperature.
- n. (Mus.) A system of compromises in the tuning of organs, pianofortes, and the like, whereby the tones generated with the vibrations of a ground tone are mutually modified and in part canceled, until their number reduced to the actual practicable scale of twelve tones to the octave. This scale, although in so far artificial, is yet closely suggestive of its origin in nature, and this system of tuning, although not mathematically true, yet satisfies the ear, while it has the convenience that the same twelve fixed tones answer for every key or scale, C♯ becoming identical with D♭, and so on.
- n. (Physiol.) The peculiar physical and mental character of an individual, in olden times erroneously supposed to be due to individual variation in the relations and proportions of the constituent parts of the body, especially of the fluids, as the bile, blood, lymph, etc. Hence the phrases, bilious or choleric
temperament, sanguine temperament, etc., implying a predominance of one of these fluids and a corresponding influence on the temperament.
- n. excessive emotionalism or irritability and excitability (especially when displayed openly)
- n. an adjustment of the intervals (as in tuning a keyboard instrument) so that the scale can be used to play in different keys
- n. your usual mood
- Middle English, from Latin temperāmentum, from temperāre, to temper; see temper. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The Latin temperament is “Hot,” wide eyed and accentuated with drama, which makes pouring a cup of coffee feel like a grand finale …”
“The link there has been that -- that what we call temperament, which is the early basic wiring and propensity for infants to act in a very distinctive way at birth, does have, for two of the temperaments that we studied with brain imaging a genetic component.”
“The easiest way to experience a change in temperament is to wait.”
“How do you know you've got what you call a temperament?”
“But the four differ no more truly in bodily shape and dress than they do in that inscrutable something which we call temperament, disposition.”
“As for people who pitied her for having to share his poverty and the demands of his writing career, "They haven't, I think, grasped that I am very much like Eric in temperament which is an asset once one has accepted the fact.”
“They haven't I think grasped that I am very much like Eric in temperament which is an asset once one has accepted the fact.”
“The term temperament is defined by Dunglison, as being "a name given to the remarkable differences that exist between individuals, in consequence of the variety of relations and proportions between the constituent parts of the body.”
“Make no mistake, he will play a big role in the American effort, and not just because his long, straight hitting seems perfect for Celtic Manor, but also because his temperament is ideally suited to golf's most pressurised occasion.”
“When I spoke of 'philosophy and judicial temperament' is it specifically how one seeks to interpret the law while serving on the bench.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘temperament’.
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
Words to describe art of the fauvist movement
words when I found them in the articles
Words I like to use, words I like but may forget.
Listening to this as an audio book for the second time. Tim O'Brien uses simple words and phrases to great effect. Very few unfamilar and big words . The writing style reminds me of words from Joh...
Looking for tweets for temperament.