tem·​pera | \ ˈtem-pə-rə How to pronounce tempera (audio) \

Definition of tempera

1 : a process of painting in which an albuminous or colloidal medium (such as egg yolk) is employed as a vehicle instead of oil also : a painting done in tempera

Examples of tempera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Artists can bring other art materials such as pastels, tempera paint, tape, stencil. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Sugar Land Chalk art competition deadline extended until Aug. 28," 22 Aug. 2019 So understated are these frames that one’s attention remains firmly on the works themselves, with their bright egg-tempera colors and their first steps toward naturalism. Cammy Brothers, WSJ, "Extreme Makeover: Renaissance Edition," 1 Aug. 2018 The penguins dip their feet into the washable tempera paint and run amock over the canvases, adding their personal, creative touches. Kelsey Grey, idahostatesman, "Zoo Boise's penguins feature their artistic talents," 19 June 2018 Parents can turn prevention into a fun family project by taking a chalk pen or tempera paints and drawing on windows. Christina Tkacik, Howard County Times, "As Howard County glass buildings kill birds, local groups aim to save avian lives," 3 May 2018 Someone had crudely daubed the keys with red and yellow tempera paint. John Kelly, Washington Post, "It doesn’t seem fair that when I’m not at work, I dream about ... work," 2 July 2017

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

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tempera

borrowed from Italian, "tempera, mixture, temperament, constitution" (in modern Italian usually tempra in figurative senses), noun derivative of temperare, temprare "to mix in the proper proportion, moderate," going back to Latin temperāre "to moderate, bring to a proper strength or consistency by mixing" — more at temper entry 2

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Statistics for tempera

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for tempera

The first known use of tempera was in 1832

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English Language Learners Definition of tempera

: a kind of paint in which the color is mixed with water and usually egg

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