[tem-per-uh-muhnt, -pruh-muhnt, -per-muhnt]
the combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person; natural predisposition.
unusual personal attitude or nature as manifested by peculiarities of feeling, temper, action, etc., often with a disinclination to submit to conventional rules or restraints.
(old physiology) the combination of the four cardinal humors, the relative proportions of which were supposed to determine physical and mental constitution.
the tuning of a keyboard instrument, as the piano, organ, or harpsichord, so that the instrument may be played in all keys without further tuning.
a particular system of doing this.
Archaic. an act of tempering or moderating.
Archaic. climate.

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin temperāmentum due mixture, equivalent to temperā(re) to mix properly + -mentum -ment

1. nature, makeup. See disposition.
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World English Dictionary
temperament (ˈtɛmpərəmənt, -prəmənt)
1.  an individual's character, disposition, and tendencies as revealed in his reactions
2.  excitability, moodiness, or anger, esp when displayed openly: an actress with temperament
3.  character See also personality the characteristic way an individual behaves, esp towards other people
4.  a.  an adjustment made to the frequency differences between notes on a keyboard instrument to allow modulation to other keys
 b.  See also just intonation any of several systems of such adjustment, such as just temperament, a system not practically possible on keyboard instruments, mean-tone temperament, a system giving an approximation to natural tuning, and equal temperament, the system commonly used in keyboard instruments, giving a scale based on an octave divided into twelve exactly equal semitones
5.  obsolete the characteristic way an individual behaves, viewed as the result of the influence of the four humours (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile)
6.  archaic compromise or adjustment
7.  an obsolete word for temperature
[C15: from Latin temperāmentum a mixing in proportion, from temperāre to temper]

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Word Origin & History

early 15c., "proportioned mixture of elements," from L. temperamentum "proper mixture," from temperare "to mix" (see temper). In medieval theory, it meant a combination of qualities (hot, cold, moist, dry) that determined the nature of an organism; this was extended to a
combination of the four humors (sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic) that made up a person's characteristic disposition. General sense of "habit of mind, natural disposition" is from 1821.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

temperament tem·per·a·ment (těm'prə-mənt, těm'pər-ə-)

  1. The manner of thinking, behaving, or reacting characteristic of a specific person.

  2. disposition; temper.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Some veteran professors also note a strong cultural gap in temperament and
  outlook between themselves and the new faculty members.
All of these advantages, of course, depend on the character and temperament of
  the administrator.
They are different in nature, in temperament, in function.
His emotions were too fervent, his temperament too violent to allow for the
  usual distance between language and living.
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