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temperamental

[tem-per-uh-men-tl, -pruh-men-, -per-men-] /ˌtɛm pər əˈmɛn tl, -prəˈmɛn-, -pərˈmɛn-/
adjective
1.
having or exhibiting a strongly marked, individual temperament.
2.
moody, irritable, or sensitive:
a temperamental artist.
3.
given to erratic behavior; unpredictable.
4.
of or pertaining to temperament; constitutional:
temperamental differences.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; temperament + -al1
Related forms
temperamentally, adverb
nontemperamental, adjective
nontemperamentally, adverb
untemperamental, adjective
untemperamentally, adverb
Synonyms
2. excitable, volatile, emotional.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for temperamental
  • Natural motor proteins, unfortunately, are often temperamental.
  • New telescopes and satellites let scientists probe the secrets of the temperamental star.
  • Extremely temperamental connections sap the fun out of things.
  • Animation has its advantages: no temperamental stars, no expensive location shoots.
  • On the other hand liquid-fuelled engines, though they can be shut down, are complex and temperamental.
  • But new telescopes and satellites allow scientists to probe the secrets of this temperamental star.
  • It's a cheap plastic temperamental little thing that only works occasionally from a few feet away.
  • As a bonus, the downwind design is less temperamental in high winds.
  • He is referring to the temperamental deity above his village.
  • Wine is a temperamental libation that can turn into vinegar if stored improperly.
British Dictionary definitions for temperamental

temperamental

/ˌtɛmpərəˈmɛntəl; -prəˈmɛntəl/
adjective
1.
easily upset or irritated; excitable; volatile
2.
of, relating to, or caused by temperament
3.
(informal) working erratically and inconsistently; unreliable a temperamental sewing machine
Derived Forms
temperamentally, adverb
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 temperamental
adj.

"of or pertaining to temperament," 1640s, from temperament; in the sense of "moody" it is recorded from 1907.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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