tem·​per·​a·​men·​tal | \ˌtem-p(ə-)rə-ˈmen-tᵊl, ˌtem-pər-ˈmen-\

Definition of temperamental 

1a : marked by excessive sensitivity and impulsive mood changes a temperamental child

b : unpredictable in behavior or performance a temperamental computer

2 : of, relating to, or arising from temperament : constitutional temperamental peculiarities

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Other Words from temperamental

temperamentally \ ˌtem-​p(ə-​)rə-​ˈmen-​tᵊl-​ē , ˌtem-​pər-​ˈmen-​ \ adverb

Examples of temperamental in a Sentence

The actor is known for being temperamental. The old computer is temperamental. They divorced due to temperamental differences.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The movie had a troubled production history, with director Bryan Singer fired and replaced by Dexter Fletcher a few weeks before the shoot ended, reportedly due to a temperamental personality and chronic absenteeism. Noel Murray, The Verge, "For the real Bohemian Rhapsody, stream the best recorded Queen concert this weekend," 2 Nov. 2018 Indeed, President Donald Trump has made Turkey’s troubles worse with his typical temperamental bipolarity. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Turkey’s trouble is only the tip of a spear aimed at the economy," 14 Aug. 2018 Meanwhile, storing propellants at such cold temperatures is difficult, and the liquids can get temperamental. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Europe will fire its record-setting big solid rocket motor this week," 11 July 2018 Juszkiewicz has a colourful reputation as a businessman, a reportedly irascible and temperamental character, he was known for taking his sales execs to a gun range to shoot up Fenders, Gibson's main rival guitar brand. Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle, "Let’s Go, EaDo: What to check out on Houston’s changing east side," 14 June 2018 And then there is her famous friendship with the expansive Antonin Scalia, her legal and temperamental antithesis, which is a wonder to behold. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'RBG' is a love letter to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg," 4 May 2018 By 2017, the group was down to 16 members, after two resigned in 1989 and 2016 for various political or temperamental differences. Erin Vanderhoof, Vanities, "The Nobel Prize Scandal Is About More Than a #MeToo Moment," 4 May 2018 If the younger Busch doesn’t win soon, there's no telling what the talented but temperamental driver might do out of sheer frustration. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Through six NASCAR races, here are six who need a victory Sunday in Texas," 3 Apr. 2018 His critics describe him as temperamental, thin-skinned, relentless and prone to dashing off angry late-night texts. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Temperamental? Thin-Skinned? Republican Tim Herbst Says He's 'Authentic'," 28 June 2018

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

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for temperamental

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for temperamental

The first known use of temperamental was in 1646

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English Language Learners Definition of temperamental

: likely to become upset or angry

: unpredictable in behavior or performance

: of or relating to someone's usual attitude, mood, or behavior


tem·​per·​a·​men·​tal | \ˌtem-pə-rə-ˈmen-tᵊl, -prə-ˈmen-tᵊl\

Kids Definition of temperamental

1 : likely to become angry or upset The actor is known for being temperamental and storming off stage.

2 : unpredictable in behavior or performance a temperamental car

Other Words from temperamental

temperamentally adverb

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Comments on temperamental

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by force of circumstances

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