tem·​per·​ate | \ˈtem-p(ə-)rət \

Definition of temperate 

1a : having a moderate climate which especially lacks extremes in temperature

b : found in or associated with a moderate climate temperate insects

2 : marked by moderation: such as

a : keeping or held within limits : not extreme or excessive : mild

b : moderate in indulgence of appetite or desire

c : moderate in the use of alcoholic beverages

d : marked by an absence or avoidance of extravagance, violence, or extreme partisanship

3 : existing as a prophage in infected cells and rarely causing lysis temperate bacteriophages

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Other Words from temperate

temperately adverb
temperateness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for temperate


balmy, clement, equable, genial, gentle, mild, moderate, soft


harsh, inclement, intemperate, severe

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Examples of temperate in a Sentence

They had a temperate discussion. He is a temperate man.

Recent Examples on the Web

Today, Canada’s Pacific Coast is covered in temperate rainforests and thick bogs, making it a difficult area for archaeologists to explore. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Oldest Known Human Footprints Discovered on Canada’s Pacific Coast," 30 Mar. 2018 Unique features include a temperate rainforest in Gorges State Park, where more than 80 inches (200 centimeters) of rain fall annually. Hillary Speed, chicagotribune.com, "In Western North Carolina: Do go chasing waterfalls," 26 June 2018 In January 2018, the Chilean government announced the creation of two new national parks and the protection of more than 10 million acres of temperate rainforest and wild grassland. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "The Newest National Parks Around the World," 3 May 2018 This time around, the work seems more temperate, less risky. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "In Channing Hansen's knitted artworks, some of the credit goes to the sheep," 5 Jan. 2018 In the 1970s, previous owners dropped the ceilings and installed central air conditioning, but the Kramers still open the doors and windows as much as possible, and say the house stays naturally temperate. Susan Langenhennig, NOLA.com, "Outdoors, indoors? Every room has best of both in this Lakeshore mid-century modern gem," 11 Apr. 2018 In a concession to New York's less temperate climate, the new park will open seasonally and take a break in the winter. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Legoland New York to be the next Lego park assembled," 29 Jan. 2018 The study is the first instance of a temperate plant being primarily dispersed by mammals through their gut, Levi said. Washington Post, "Facebook will verify IDs by mail for ads," 6 Mar. 2018 Monthly averages for May in Sacramento are very temperate with an average high of 80 degrees and low of 51. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Want summer veggies? Get to work | The Sacramento Bee," 5 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for temperate

Middle English temperat, from Latin temperatus, from past participle of temperare

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Statistics for temperate

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for temperate

The first known use of temperate was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of temperate

: having temperatures that are not too hot or too cold

: emotionally calm and controlled

: avoiding behavior that goes beyond what is normal, healthy, or acceptable


tem·​per·​ate | \ˈtem-pə-rət, -prət\

Kids Definition of temperate

1 : keeping or held within limits : not extreme or excessive temperate pride

2 : not drinking much liquor

3 : showing self-control Though angry, he used temperate language.

4 : having a mild climate that is not too hot or too cold


tem·​per·​ate | \ˈtem-p(ə-)rət \

Medical Definition of temperate 

1 : marked by moderation especially : moderate in the use of intoxicating liquors

2 : existing as a prophage in infected cells and rarely causing lysis temperate bacteriophages

Other Words from temperate

temperately adverb

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Comments on temperate

What made you want to look up temperate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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