in·​tem·​per·​ance | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtem-p(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce intemperance (audio) \

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

Fifty years of putting up with discrimination, hatred and intemperance. Joe Lynch, Billboard, "Madonna Pays Heartfelt Tribute to the LGBTQ Community at Pride Island 2019," 1 July 2019 But that was the 1980s and 1990s, and nothing had prepared him for the intemperance of the night. Bradley Hope, WSJ, "The Billion-Dollar Mystery Man and the Wildest Party Vegas Ever Saw," 15 Sep. 2018 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

15 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce intemperance (audio) \

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 How to pronounce intemperance (audio) \

Medical Definition of intemperance

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

Other Words from intemperance

intemperate \ -​p(ə-​)rət How to pronounce intemperate (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on intemperance

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


characterized by aphorism

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