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

The plant, one of a small handful around the world outside its native Indonesia, takes a decade or longer to bloom, as the temperamental flower is better accustomed to the hot and sweltering jungles of Sumatra. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "‘Corpse flower,’ which literally smells like death, in bloom at Palm Beach nursery," 10 June 2019 One of the challenges was making the story, about a temperamental out-of- work actor who disguises himself as a woman to get a part, funny for an audience conditioned to more sophisticated depictions of gender issues. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Hey, Tony Awards, lighten up! You should give more prizes to the funny stuff.," 6 June 2019 And for anyone with temperamental skin, that's a huge, huge deal. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Tea Tree Oil Is the Best Acne Spot Treatment for Sensitive Skin," 24 Sep. 2018 Whereas the red grape of Burgundy, delicate, temperamental Pinot Noir, is fruitier and softer, the Nebbiolo grape of Barolo has more structure and tannins. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "Why Italy’s ‘King of Wines’ Is A Relative Bargain—For Now," 6 Dec. 2018 The former trade temperamental propellants for the ability to throttle their power output (by controlling the mixture of that fuel and oxidizer). Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bloodhound SSC: How do you build a car capable of 1,000mph?," 24 Nov. 2018 Florida weather is temperamental, especially during the summer months (ah, Hurricane season!). Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Only True Disney World Fanatics Will Ace This Quiz," 13 July 2018 The 2,412-kilometer road is actually much improved from its original state, but the region's temperamental climate makes landslides and falling rock extremely common. Olivia Putnal, Woman's Day, "10 Awe-Inspiring Roads Around the World," 19 Oct. 2010 What’s more, swing voters — unlike centrist political elites — are not temperamental moderates. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Swing voters are extremely real," 23 July 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

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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Statistics for temperamental

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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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 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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with temperamental

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Spanish Central: Translation of temperamental

Nglish: Translation of temperamental for Spanish Speakers

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to take the place or position of

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