in·​tem·​per·​ate | \ (ˌ)in-ˈtem-p(ə-)rət How to pronounce intemperate (audio) \

Definition of intemperate

: not temperate intemperate criticism especially : given to excessive use of intoxicating liquors

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Other Words from intemperate

intemperately adverb
intemperateness noun

Did You Know?

Intemperate means more or less "not well tempered"-and that definition also provides a clue about its origins. The word derives from Latin intemperatus, formed by combining "in-" with a form of the verb temperare, meaning "to temper" or "to mix." Both "intemperate" and its antonym "temperate" entered the English language in the 14th century. Other "temperare" words include "distemper," "temperament," "temperature," "temperance," and "temper" itself. Synonyms of "intemperate" in the sense of "not controlled" include "unbounded," "unbridled," "unrestrained," and "unchecked."

Examples of intemperate in a Sentence

intemperate anger that is so extreme that the man should be in therapy a serious course in wine appreciation that does not welcome intemperate drinkers and party animals
Recent Examples on the Web Moderators removed the post and the intemperate comments on it. The Economist, "Fantasy economics Venezuela’s paper currency is worthless, so its people seek virtual gold," 21 Nov. 2019 Quaker and abolitionist John Lettsom set out guidelines for temperate and intemperate alcohol at the turn of the 19th century. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Ancient Drunk Gorillas Are the Reason You Can Tolerate Booze Today," 5 Dec. 2019 Curt Schilling’s strong candidacy was set back by his intemperate comments on social media, but has been slowly recovering momentum in recent seasons., "The Red Sox need a starter with," 23 Nov. 2019 At this point nothing appears to stand in the way of the House’s intemperate and unreasonable vote to impeach. Robert Ray, Time, "We Shouldn't Impeach Trump On the Basis of Flawed Legal Theory," 7 Nov. 2019 Her account seemed troublingly plausible—and the judge’s response intemperate and highly partisan. The Economist, "The Democrats are incensed by fresh allegations against Brett Kavanaugh," 18 Sep. 2019 Penn State would advance such an argument if the university possesses corroborating documentation, including negative performance reviews or inaccurate or intemperate emails sent by Lynch. Michael Mccann,, "How James Franklin, Penn State Could Be Impacted by Ex-Team Physician's Lawsuit," 26 Aug. 2019 Trump supporters said his political rivals have fanned a faux controversy as part of an ongoing effort to make the election a referendum on his conduct and intemperate behavior rather than a contest of policy ideas. David Nakamura, Anchorage Daily News, "‘There’s no accountability’: Trump and White House aides signal willingness to act with impunity in drive for re-election," 17 June 2019 Sneed had no qualms with the other courses for the evening’s meal, including a quail egg buried in buttery brioche and topped with an intemperate amount of osetra caviar, and a silky corn soup studded with fresh lobster and lobster quenelles. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "Jean-Louis Palladin was D.C.’s original celebrity chef. But his legacy is complicated.," 19 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intemperate.' 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 intemperate

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for intemperate

Middle English intemperat, from Latin intemperatus, from in- + temperatus, past participle of temperare to temper

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Time Traveler for intemperate

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

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intemperate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for intemperate


How to pronounce intemperate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of intemperate

: having extreme conditions
: having or showing a lack of emotional calmness or control
old-fashioned : often drinking too much alcohol


in·​tem·​per·​ate | \ in-ˈtem-pə-rət How to pronounce intemperate (audio) \

Kids Definition of intemperate

1 : not moderate or mild intemperate weather
2 : having or showing a lack of self-control (as in the use of alcoholic beverages)

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More from Merriam-Webster on intemperate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intemperate

Spanish Central: Translation of intemperate

Nglish: Translation of intemperate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on intemperate

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good-natured easy friendliness

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