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distemper1

[dis-tem-per] /dɪsˈtɛm pər/
noun
1.
Veterinary Pathology.
  1. Also called canine distemper. an infectious disease chiefly of young dogs, caused by an unidentified virus and characterized by lethargy, fever, catarrh, photophobia, and vomiting.
  2. Also called colt distemper, equine distemper, strangles. an infectious disease of horses, caused by the bacillus Streptococcus equi and characterized by catarrh of the upper air passages and the formation of pus in the submaxillary and other lymphatic glands.
  3. Also called cat distemper, feline agranulocytosis, feline distemper, feline infectious enteritis, feline panleukopenia. a usually fatal viral disease of cats, characterized by fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, leading to severe dehydration.
2.
a deranged condition of mind or body; a disorder or disease:
a feverish distemper.
3.
disorder or disturbance, especially of a political nature.
verb (used with object)
4.
Obsolete. to derange physically or mentally.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English distemp(e)ren, destempren (v.) (< Middle French destemprer) < Medieval Latin distemperāre, equivalent to Latin dis- dis-1 + temperāre to temper
Related forms
distemperedly, adverb
distemperedness, noun

distemper2

[dis-tem-per] /dɪsˈtɛm pər/
noun
1.
Art.
  1. a technique of decorative painting in which glue or gum is used as a binder or medium to achieve a mat surface and rapid drying.
  2. (formerly) the tempera technique.
2.
a painting executed by this method.
3.
British. whitewash; calcimine.
verb (used with object)
4.
to paint in distemper.
5.
British. to whitewash a wall, cottage, etc.; calcimine.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English distemperen (v.) (< Anglo-French distemprer) < Medieval Latin distemperāre to dissolve, dilute, equivalent to Latin dis- dis-1 + temperāre to blend, temper
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for distemper
  • Of course, in a era of high unemployment and economic distemper, keeping a low profile makes political sense.
  • After several years thus spent, his distemper having seized his vitals, he perceived his end to draw near.
British Dictionary definitions for distemper

distemper1

/dɪsˈtɛmpə/
noun
1.
any of various infectious diseases of animals, esp canine distemper, a highly contagious viral disease of dogs, characterized initially by high fever and a discharge from the nose and eyes See also hard pad, strangles
2.
(archaic)
  1. a disease or disorder
  2. disturbance
  3. discontent
verb
3.
(transitive) (archaic) to disturb
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin distemperāre to derange the health of, from Latin dis-1 + temperāre to mix in correct proportions

distemper2

/dɪsˈtɛmpə/
noun
1.
a technique of painting in which the pigments are mixed with water, glue, size, etc, used for poster, mural, and scene painting
2.
the paint used in this technique or any of various water-based paints, including, in Britain, whitewash
verb
3.
(transitive) to mix (pigments) with water and size
4.
to paint (something) with distemper
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin distemperāre to soak, from Latin dis-1 + temperāre to mingle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for distemper
v.

mid-14c., "to disturb," from Old French destemprer, from Medieval Latin distemperare "vex, make ill," literally "upset the proper balance (of bodily humors)," from dis- "un-, not" (see dis-) + Latin temperare "mingle in the proper proportion" (see temper (v.)). Related: Distempered.

n.

1550s, from distemper (v.); in reference to a disease of dogs, from 1747.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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distemper in Medicine

distemper dis·tem·per (dĭs-těm'pər)
n.

  1. An infectious viral disease occurring in dogs, characterized by loss of appetite, a catarrhal discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting, partial paralysis, and sometimes death.

  2. A similar viral disease of cats characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea leading to dehydration, and sometimes death.

  3. Any of various similar mammalian diseases.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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distemper in Science
distemper
  (dĭs-těm'pər)   
  1. An infectious disease occurring especially in dogs, caused by the canine distemper virus of the genus Morbillivirus. It is characterized by loss of appetite, a discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting, fever, lethargy, partial paralysis caused by destruction of myelinated nerve tissue, and sometimes death.

  2. An infectious disease of cats caused by the feline panleukopenia virus of the genus Parvovirus, characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea leading to dehydration, and sometimes death.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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