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adjective tem·po·ral \ˈtem-p(ə-)rəl\

Definition of temporal

  1. 1a :  of or relating to time as opposed to eternityb :  of or relating to earthly lifec :  lay or secular rather than clerical or sacred :  civil <lords temporal>

  2. 2 :  of or relating to grammatical tense or a distinction of time

  3. 3a :  of or relating to time as distinguished from spaceb :  of or relating to the sequence of time or to a particular time :  chronological

tem·po·ral·ly adverb

Examples of temporal

  1. The struggle of the dispersed Tibetan people is made all the more newsworthy by the nonviolent emphasis of their spiritual and temporal leader, the Nobel Peace laureate Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in Dharamsala, India. —Flynne Bachleda, Publisher's Weekly, 15 Aug. 1994

  2. By eschewing history and politics, The Last Train From Madrid leeches war of its particular temporal context, providing an eight-year-old with his first glimpse of war as eternal anonymous suffering. —Donald Hall, Harper's, May 1991

  3. … each in their own way wanted an authority which could both uphold the law and maintain the order of society; once the first age was over, the consequence of this was the de facto separation between those who maintained the law … and the men of the sword who had the power to enforce temporal order. —Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, 1991

  4. The history of life is not a continuum of development, but a record punctuated by brief, sometimes geologically instantaneous, episodes of mass extinction and subsequent diversification. The geological time scale maps this history, for fossils provide our chief criterion in fixing the temporal order of rocks. —Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life, 1989

Origin of temporal

Middle English, from Anglo-French temporel, from Latin temporalis, from tempor-, tempus time

First Known Use: 14th century



noun tem·po·ral \ˈtem-p(ə-)rəl\

Definition of temporal

  1. :  a bodily part (as a bone or muscle) that is near the temples or the sides of the skull behind the orbits :  a temporal part

Origin of temporal

Middle French, from temporal, adjective (see 1temporal)

First Known Use: 1541



adjective tem·po·ral \ˈtem-p(ə-)rəl\

Definition of temporal

  1. :  of or relating to the temples or the sides of the skull behind the orbits

Origin of temporal

Middle French, from Late Latin temporalis, from Latin tempora temples

First Known Use: 1597

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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