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 temperamental (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 No shoe seems right for this temperamental time of year. Jhumpa Lahiri, The New Yorker, "Casting Shadows," 8 Feb. 2021 House Republicans of different ideological and temperamental stripes are united around the common cause of fighting the radical Left, Cawthorn said. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "'Our party has never been more united': Cawthorn dismisses intra-GOP spats," 6 Feb. 2021 Communications within partnerships, especially, can seem more heated and a bit temperamental now. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, "Daily horoscope for December 18, 2020," 18 Dec. 2020 His temperamental opposite is Leslie Odom Jr.'s Cooke, the quietest of the four. Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune, "In Regina King's 'One Night in Miami,' performances are better than the script," 11 Jan. 2021 Moreover, film production was costly, with temperamental cameras and clunky equipment that had to be dragged up windswept mountains. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "This 14-Year-Old Ski Daredevil Is Already a Pro, and Trying Not to Scare His Parents," 3 Jan. 2021 The reality is, so many body cleansers on the market tend to contain ingredients that irritate my temperamental skin, while others simply don't contain enough soothing agents to do much at all for my inflammation. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Eucerin's Eczema Relief Cream Body Wash Soothes My Red, Itchy Limbs Like Nothing Else," 20 Dec. 2020 Some of the movie’s most affecting scenes feature Levee, a zealous and temperamental trumpet player, whom Boseman inhabits with characteristic grace. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and the Liberating Power of Music," 19 Dec. 2020 Staffers who normally would leap at the chance to set foot in the Oval Office now try to avoid it for fear of crossing a temperamental president who has been angrily demanding answers from aides as to how to further contest the election. Jill Colvin, Star Tribune, "Week offers snapshot of how Trump, Biden approach presidency," 21 Nov. 2020

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

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Temperamental.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temperamental. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for temperamental



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

More from Merriam-Webster on temperamental

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for temperamental

Nglish: Translation of temperamental for Spanish Speakers

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