• IPA: /ˈtɛmp(ə)ɹətʃə(ɹ)/, /ˈtɛmp(ə)ɹəˌtʃʊə(ɹ)/, /ˈtɛmpə(ɹ)tʃə(ɹ)/, /ˈtɛmpə(ɹ)ˌtʃʊə(ɹ)/


  1. A measure of cold or heat, often measurable with a thermometer.
    The boiling temperature of pure water is 100 degrees Celsius.
    The temperature in the room dropped nearly 20 degrees; it went from hot to cold.
  2. An elevated body temperature, as present in fever and many illnesses.
    You have a temperature. I think you should stay home today. You’re sick.
  3. (thermodynamics) A property of macroscopic amounts of matter that serves to gauge the average intensity of the random actual motions of the individually mobile particulate constituents.
  4. (obsolete) The state or condition of being tempered or moderated.
  5. (now rare, archaic) The balance of humours in the body, or one's character or outlook as considered determined from this; temperament.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
      , Bk.I, New York 2001, p.136:
      Our intemperence it is that pulls so many several incurable diseases on our heads, that hastens old age, perverts our temperature, and brings upon us sudden death.
    • 1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Penguin 2003, p.5:
      […] that not only the production of a rational Being was concern'd in it, but that possibly the happy foundation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind […]
    • 1993, James Michie, trans. Ovid, The Art of Love, Book II:
      Only a strong dose of love will cure / A woman with an angry temperature.
Related terms
  • temperature inversion
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