distemper

verb (1)
dis·tem·per | \dis-ˈtem-pər \

Definition of distemper 

(Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to throw out of order

2 archaic : derange, unsettle

distemper

noun (1)

Definition of distemper (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : bad humor or temper

2 : a disordered or abnormal bodily state especially of quadruped mammals: such as

a : a highly contagious virus disease of canines and especially of dogs that is caused by a morbillivirus (species Canine distemper virus) and is marked by fever, leukopenia, and respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological symptoms

called also canine distemper

b : strangles

c : panleukopenia

3 : ailment, disorder vice and folly are situated not in human nature … but in distempers of intellect— George Stade

distemper

noun (2)

Definition of distemper (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a process of painting in which the pigments are mixed with an emulsion of egg yolk, with size, or with white of egg as a vehicle and which is used for painting scenery and murals

2a : the paint or the prepared ground used in the distemper process

b : a painting done in distemper

3 : any of various water-based paints

distemper

verb (2)

Definition of distemper (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to paint in or with distemper

Other Words from distemper

Noun (1)

distemperate \-p(ə-)rət \ adjective

First Known Use of distemper

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1632, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

circa 1873, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for distemper

Verb (1)

Middle English distempren, from Late Latin distemperare to temper badly, from Latin dis- + temperare to temper

Noun (2)

obsolete distemper, verb, to dilute, mix to produce distemper, from Middle English, from Anglo-French destemprer, from Latin dis- + temperare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about distemper

Listen to Our Podcast about distemper

Statistics for distemper

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distemper

The first known use of distemper was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for distemper

distemper

noun
dis·tem·per | \dis-ˈtem-pər \

Medical Definition of distemper 

: a disordered or abnormal bodily state especially of quadruped mammals: as

a : a highly contagious virus disease especially of dogs that is marked by fever, leukopenia, and respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological symptoms and that is caused by a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus (species Canine distemper virus)

called also canine distemper

b : strangles

c : panleukopenia

d : a severe frequently fatal infectious nasopharyngeal inflammation of rabbits

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on distemper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for distemper

Spanish Central: Translation of distemper

Nglish: Translation of distemper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about distemper

Comments on distemper

What made you want to look up distemper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!