in·​tem·​per·​ance | \(ˌ)in-ˈtem-p(ə-)rən(t)s \

Definition of intemperance 

: lack of moderation especially : habitual or excessive drinking of intoxicants

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Synonyms & Antonyms for intemperance


alcoholism, drunkenness, insobriety, intemperateness


sobriety, temperance

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Examples of intemperance in a Sentence

in his harangue on the perils of drink, the prohibitionist claimed that intemperance has always been the number one destroyer of marriages there's a wearisome intemperance in his verbal attacks against any and all who dare to disagree with him

Recent Examples on the Web

But the most interesting response has been from Brennan allies warning him that his intemperance may be backfiring. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Treason, Trust—and Trump," 20 Aug. 2018 Perhaps due to such intemperance, his 2003 campaign to become a WTO jurist was rebuffed. Greg Rushford, WSJ, "Trump’s War on the WTO," 4 July 2018 He had been criticized by Democrats and some moderate Republicans for intemperance after several witnesses testified to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that Bolton had harassed and bullied them. Philip Elliott, Time, "Donald Trump Just Hired John Bolton. Here's Why That Makes Some Nervous," 23 Mar. 2018 Republicans have bet for months that Mr. Trump would destroy his own campaign through sheer intemperance or incompetence. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "Million-Dollar Donors in the 2016 Presidential Race," 24 Feb. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intemperance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intemperance

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for intemperance

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for intemperance

The first known use of intemperance was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for intemperance


in·​tem·​per·​ance | \in-ˈtem-pə-rəns \

Kids Definition of intemperance

: lack of self-control (as in satisfying an appetite)


in·​tem·​per·​ance | \(ˈ)in-ˈtem-p(ə-)rən(t)s \

Medical Definition of intemperance 

: lack of moderation especially : habitual or excessive drinking of intoxicants

Other Words from intemperance

intemperate \-​p(ə-​)rət \ adjective

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Comments on intemperance

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living or existing for a long time

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