tem·​per·​a·​ture ˈtem-pər-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce temperature (audio)
-ˌtu̇r How to pronounce temperature (audio)
: degree of hotness or coldness measured on a definite scale
: the degree of heat that is natural to the body of a living being
: abnormally high body heat
running a temperature
: relative state of emotional warmth
scandals raised the political temperature
: mood
testing the temperature of voters

Examples of temperature in a Sentence

Water boils at a temperature of 212°F. The samples are kept at a constant temperature. The weatherman predicted unusually low temperatures for the area. the normal body temperature of 98.6°F
Recent Examples on the Web Seasonable temperatures with plenty of sun and a chilly breeze. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2024 In 1998 and 1999, Mann and colleagues published two papers reporting that global temperatures, which had been stable for at least a millennium, began rising sharply during the 20th century and especially in the last 50 years. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2024 But as ice disappears, those areas absorb more solar energy, raising land surface temperatures, which can cause further melt and other negative impacts. Angela Dewan, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 Intelligent sensors and devices can now collect data on temperature, vibration, stress levels and other metrics in real time at the edge. Steve Richmond, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 It’s made with 100% French linen, which keeps you warm and cozy but also regulates your temperature in summer. Claire Rutter, Rolling Stone, 13 Feb. 2024 This high-tech mug allows anyone to keep coffee at your ideal temperature for more than an hour. Olivia Muenter, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 That temperature range allows bacteria to rapidly multiply, which is why you're not supposed to allow food to be in that temperature range for longer than two hours. Tamara Gane, Southern Living, 12 Feb. 2024 Sacramento residents can expect to enjoy their last bit of sunshine for a while on Monday and Tuesday, the weather service said in its forecast, with high temperatures near 59 degrees and low temperatures around 40 and 44 degrees, respectively. Hanh Truong, Sacramento Bee, 12 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'temperature.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin temperātūra "mixture of substances in proper proportion, adjustment between extremes, mean," from temperātus, past participle of temperāre "to moderate, bring to a proper strength or consistency by mixing, maintain in a state of balance" + -ūra -ure — more at temper entry 2

First Known Use

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of temperature was in 1533

Dictionary Entries Near temperature

Cite this Entry

“Temperature.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temperature. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


tem·​per·​a·​ture ˈtem-pə(r)-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce temperature (audio) ˈtem-p(ə-)rə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce temperature (audio)
: the degree of hotness or coldness of something (as air, water, or the body) as shown by a thermometer
: fever sense 1a
have a temperature

Medical Definition


tem·​per·​a·​ture ˈtem-pə(r)-ˌchu̇(ə)r How to pronounce temperature (audio) -p(ə-)rə- How to pronounce temperature (audio)
: degree of hotness or coldness measured on a definite scale see thermometer
: the degree of heat that is natural to a living body
a normal oral temperature of about 98.6°F
: a condition of abnormally high body heat
was running a temperature

More from Merriam-Webster on temperature

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