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 The country’s vocal women’s movement has faced an intemperate backlash from men who object to its demands. The Economist, "Suicide is on the rise among South Korean women," 12 Dec. 2020 All of this is normal behavior for an intemperate adolescent, an authoritarian ruler, or Trump. NBC news, "Dingell: Women will help Biden win Michigan," 4 Nov. 2020 Presidential debates may never recover from the blow President Trump delivered with his intemperate performance last week. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "2020 Now Represents a Turning Point, Toward Parts Unknown," 5 Oct. 2020 An intemperate racist, wont to compare himself to Jesus, Abraham Lincoln’s unworthy Democratic successor campaigned for the 1866 mid-terms by warning that America was heading for another civil war. The Economist, "Lexington Far worse than Nixon," 4 June 2020 Mr Trump had already admitted, in a series of increasingly intemperate outbursts, doing most of what the transcript contains. Lexington | Washington, The Economist, "Donald Trump urged Ukraine to investigate the Bidens," 25 Sep. 2019 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

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

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Cite this Entry

“Intemperate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for intemperate



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)

More from Merriam-Webster on intemperate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intemperate

Nglish: Translation of intemperate for Spanish Speakers

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