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

My love of the show, like most Murphy endeavors, is its intemperate spirit, its taste for amphitheater emotion. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Depth of Field: On Pose, the Past Is the Present," 11 July 2019 Because the management firms and tours 1. don’t need the hassle of crisis management and 2. don’t want to jeopardize endorsements and commercial interests with a few intemperate remarks. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: The Downside of Media Training for Young Players," 26 June 2019 Captivity invites appropriation, and appropriation can take different forms, as for example when Eliot protectively sought to shape the perception of Pound in the world at large as a cold high modernist, rather than as an intemperate propagandist. Karl Kirchwey, New York Times, "What Life in Confinement Meant for Ezra Pound’s Work," 9 Jan. 2018 Close to an election there are also attempts to blame the devices on intemperate political rhetoric, especially from Donald Trump. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Politics of Pipe Bombs," 24 Oct. 2018 Under this scenario Democrats would also hope that intemperate voices on the right increasingly seek to dismiss the claims out of hand. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Will a justice delayed be a justice denied?," 19 Sep. 2018 Mr Trump’s confrontational approach has only added to worries that a full falling-out is only an intemperate tweet away. The Economist, "Will Donald Trump be Triumphant, Tetchy or Torpedo?," 5 July 2018 Which is why anything that heightens international antagonism — even an intemperate tweet — sends shivers through the market, while the barest hints of melioration warm portfolios everywhere, if only for a few hours. Evan Horowitz,, "Wall Street hates Trump’s trade threats as much as it loves his tax cut," 27 June 2018 Lawmakers talked over each other and the witness, in sometimes starkly personal and intemperate terms., "FBI agent Strzok feuds with GOP critics at hearing," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for intemperate

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intemperate

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

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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)

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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

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


to complain fretfully

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