tem·​per·​a·​men·​tal | \ ˌtem-p(ə-)rə-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce temperamental (audio) , 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 How to pronounce temperamentally (audio) , ˌtem-​pər-​ˈmen-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for temperamental


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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 Who would brave mud, late-night pull-downs, rats in the straw-bales, leaky caravans, temperamental animals, lack of loos, lack of baths, unless they had been born to it? The Economist, "The triumph of magic Obituary: Nell Gifford died on December 8th," 23 Jan. 2020 If chronic stress is behind your temperamental periods, the fix is simple: work on minimizing your stress. Priscilla Blossom, Glamour, "Can Stress Cause a Late Period?," 24 Dec. 2019 That 12-hour affair was a reminder of the potentially temperamental times ahead. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, "A political boss who ruled with kindness leaves the stage," 9 Dec. 2019 All of the character traits that Trump’s critics most feared are present — including his petty corruption, his temperamental unfitness, and his rank incompetence. David French, Time, "If You Didn’t Already Think Trump Was Unfit for Office, Syria and Ukraine Should Change Your Mind," 17 Oct. 2019 Traveling with a baby is stressful, even for parents who have already boarded a few airplanes and stayed in a few hotels with their temperamental little ones. Noah Kaufman, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Gifts for Anyone Traveling With a Baby," 2 Dec. 2019 Sure, the heating and cooling systems are temperamental. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: I can't get used to the headlines saying our dear Journal building has been sold," 29 Nov. 2019 Some of his former students described Sokolov to local news organizations as passionate, knowledgeable, unstable and temperamental. Author: Will Englund, Anchorage Daily News, "Russia’s greatest Napoleonic re-enactor found drunk in a river with the severed arms of his lover in his backpack," 11 Nov. 2019 Some of his former students described Sokolov to local news organizations as passionate, knowledgeable, unstable, and temperamental. BostonGlobe.com, "Instead, having been fished out of the Moika River early Saturday morning with a backpack containing a woman’s severed arms, he was in the Mariinsky Hospital, still very much alive, but recovering from hypothermia and facing a murder charge.," 11 Nov. 2019

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

History and Etymology for temperamental

borrowed from New Latin temperāmentālis "of the temperament," from Latin temperāmentum temperament + -ālis -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for temperamental

Time Traveler

The first known use of temperamental was in 1646

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Statistics for temperamental

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Temperamental.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temperamental. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for temperamental


How to pronounce temperamental (audio)

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 How to pronounce temperamental (audio) , -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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