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[tem-puh-rer-ee] /ˈtɛm pəˌrɛr i/
lasting, existing, serving, or effective for a time only; not permanent:
a temporary need; a temporary job.
noun, plural temporaries.
an office worker hired, usually through an agency on a per diem basis, for a short period of time.
Origin of temporary
1540-50; < Latin temporārius, equivalent to tempor- (stem of tempus) time + -ārius -ary
Related forms
[tem-puh-rair-uh-lee, tem-puh-rer-] /ˌtɛm pəˈrɛər ə li, ˈtɛm pəˌrɛr-/ (Show IPA),
temporariness, noun
nontemporarily, adverb
nontemporariness, noun
nontemporary, adjective
untemporary, adjective
1. impermanent, passing. Temporary, transient, transitory agree in referring to that which is not lasting or permanent. Temporary implies an arrangement established with no thought of continuance but with the idea of being changed soon: a temporary structure. Transient describes that which is in the process of passing by, and which will therefore last or stay only a short time: a transient condition. Transitory describes an innate characteristic by which a thing, by its very nature, lasts only a short time: Life is transitory.
1. permanent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for temporary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a temporary wave of emotion, but she remembered it long after it had passed.

    Overland John William De Forest
  • Longfellow's Skeleton in Armor has revealed their temporary settlement.

  • When Cummins had asked him, he hadnt known whether the temporary coach had expected him to say yes or no.

    Full-Back Foster Ralph Henry Barbour
  • There was thus a temporary respite of hostilities in this section of the country.

    King Philip John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
  • I began to reflect that even a temporary prison is far from being a pleasant place for a man to stop in.

British Dictionary definitions for temporary


/ˈtɛmpərərɪ; ˈtɛmprərɪ/
not permanent; provisional: temporary accommodation
lasting only a short time; transitory: temporary relief from pain
noun (pl) -raries
a person, esp a secretary or other office worker, employed on a temporary basis Often shortened to temp
Derived Forms
temporarily, adverb
temporariness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin temporārius, from tempus time
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for temporary

1540s, from Latin temporarius "of seasonal character, lasting a short time," from tempus (genitive temporis) "time, season" (see temporal). The noun meaning "person employed only for a time" is recorded from 1848.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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