Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Moderation and self-restraint, as in behavior or expression.
  • n. Restraint in the use of or abstinence from alcoholic liquors. See Synonyms at abstinence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; moderation; as, temperance in eating and drinking; temperance in the indulgence of joy or mirth; specifically, moderation, and sometimes abstinence, in respect to using intoxicating liquors.
  • n. Moderation of passion; patience; calmness; sedateness.
  • n. One of the seven heavenly virtues.
  • n. State with regard to heat or cold; temperature.
  • n. : temperance; the fourteenth trump or major arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; moderation; ; specifically, moderation, and sometimes abstinence, in respect to using intoxicating liquors.
  • n. Moderation of passion; patience; calmness; sedateness.
  • n. State with regard to heat or cold; temperature.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Moderation; the observance of moderation; temperateness.
  • n. Particularly— Habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; abstinence from all violence or excess, from inordinate or unseasonable indulgence, or from the use or pursuit of anything injurious to moral or physical well-being; sobriety; frugality: as, temperance in eating and drinking; temperance in the indulgence of joy or grief; in a narrower sense, moderation in the use of alcoholic liquors, as beverages; or, in a still narrower sense as used by its advocates, entire abstinence from such liquors: in this sense also used attributively; as, a temperance society; a temperance hotel; a temperance lecture.
  • n. Moderation of passion; self-restraint; self-control; calmness.
  • n. The act of tempering or mixing; temperament.
  • n. Moderate degree of temperature; equal state.
  • n. Temperature.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. abstaining from excess
  • n. the trait of avoiding excesses
  • n. the act of tempering

Etymologies

See etymology of "to temper". (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It is as though you were to take a man into a cellar where there was a vast collection of what we call temperance drinks, and what the Americans call soft drinks.

    Belloc Speaks - The Schools

  • Murrin laughed at my use of the word temperance, but then he peered at me, trying to see if I was serious or not since I didn't smile or join him in laughter, but my sunglasses hid my eyes, so he wasn't sure.

    Wake Up, Sir!

  • "Of these, then," he said, "are not they the most happy, and do they not go to the best place, who have practiced that social and civilized virtue which they call temperance and justice, and which is produced from habit and exercise, without philosophy and reflection?"

    Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates

  • In this way, the previously taboo subject of domestic violence suddenly began appearing in temperance journals and publications.

    'Trivial Complaints:' The Role of Privacy in Domestic Violence Law and Activism in the U.S.

  • As a man he is high-spirited and energetic, always ready to fight for his Sultan, his country and, especially, his Faith: courteous and affable, rarely failing in temperance of mind and self-respect, self-control and self-command: hospitable to the stranger, attached to his fellow citizens, submissive to superiors and kindly to inferiors — if such classes exist: Eastern despotisms have arrived nearer the idea of equality and fraternity than any republic yet invented.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • I acknowledge my ignorance of the derivation of the word temperance, but I do know drunkenness comes from drinking intoxicating liquor, therefore I favor total-abstinence and recommend it as the safe side of life for young men.

    Wit, Humor, Reason, Rhetoric, Prose, Poetry and Story Woven into Eight Popular Lectures

  • The word temperance has, we repeat, become narrowed and specialized.

    The True Citizen, How to Become One

  • Pearl is an out and out believer in temperance and woman suffrage, and before she was through, she had every one with her – as one man put it, he'd like to see the women vote, if for nothing else than to get Pearl Watson into

    Purple Springs

  • (The latter she calls a "prohibition lecture" -- hating the word temperance, as applied to drink.) She said words, such as had probably not been heard by most of those there, for a great many years.

    The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation

  • Speedily the State was aflame with disturbances in temperance and teachers 'conventions, and the press heralded the news far and near that women delegates had suddenly appeared, demanding admission in men's conventions; that their rights had been hotly contested session after session, by liberal men on the one side, the clergy and learned professors on the other; an overwhelming majority rejecting the women with terrible anathemas and denunciations.

    Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897

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