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[tem-per-it, tem-prit] /ˈtɛm pər ɪt, ˈtɛm prɪt/
moderate or self-restrained; not extreme in opinion, statement, etc.:
a temperate response to an insulting challenge.
moderate as regards indulgence of appetite or passion, especially in the use of alcoholic liquors.
not excessive in degree, as things, qualities, etc.
moderate in respect to temperature; not subject to prolonged extremes of hot or cold weather.
Microbiology. (of a virus) existing in infected host cells but rarely causing lysis.
Origin of temperate
1350-1400; Middle English temperat < Latin temperātus, past participle of temperāre to exercise restraint, control. See temper, -ate1
Related forms
temperately, adverb
temperateness, noun
nontemperate, adjective
nontemperately, adverb
nontemperateness, noun
pretemperate, adjective
pretemperately, adverb
untemperate, adjective
untemperately, adverb
untemperateness, noun
1. sober, dispassionate. See moderate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for temperate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Here in the temperate zone, we find coal and iron ore on the surface of the soil; we have but to stoop and take them.

    What Is Free Trade? Frdrick Bastiat
  • Not a hand was raised—for his worst enemies could not deny that he was temperate and frugal.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • But, I said, a temperate state will be a well-ordered state.

    Charmides Plato
  • He was temperate in his rationalism and thrifty in his philanthropy.

  • They swung at corners and made "ladies' change" all through the temperate zone.

    The Ruling Passion Henry van Dyke
British Dictionary definitions for temperate


/ˈtɛmpərɪt; ˈtɛmprɪt/
having a climate intermediate between tropical and polar; moderate or mild in temperature
mild in quality or character; exhibiting temperance
Derived Forms
temperately, adverb
temperateness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin temperātus
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 temperate

late 14c., of persons, "modest, forbearing, self-restrained," from Latin temperatus "restrained, regulated," from past participle of temperare "to moderate, regulate" (see temper (v.)). Applied to climates mid-15c.; temperate zone is attested from 1550s. Related: Temperately; temperateness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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temperate in Medicine

temperate tem·per·ate (těm'pər-ĭt, těm'prĭt)
Exercising moderation and self-restraint.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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temperate in Science
Marked by moderate temperatures, weather, or climate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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