tem·​per·​a·​ture | \ ˈtem-pər-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce temperature (audio) , ˈtem-pə-, -p(ə-)rə-, -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r How to pronounce temperature (audio) \

Definition of temperature

1a : degree of hotness or coldness measured on a definite scale
b : the degree of heat that is natural to the body of a living being
c : abnormally high body heat running a temperature
2a : relative state of emotional warmth scandals raised the political temperature
b : 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
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Recent Examples on the Web The viruses can survive briefly on surfaces depending on conditions of humidity and temperature. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Need for Face Masks in China Pushes Auto, Energy Companies to Make Them," 10 Feb. 2020 Waves topping 5 feet were recorded on Lake Tahoe, where air temperatures dipped below freezing. Fox News, "Wind gust of 209 mph atop California mountain may have set record," 10 Feb. 2020 Chocolate chips are formulated to hold their shape, even at high temperatures. Mackenzie Fegan, Bon Appétit, "Some Personal News: We’ve Graduated From Chocolate Chips," 9 Feb. 2020 That temperature flash-freezes the fish or reindeer meat and locks in the flavor. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, "Arctic Dining: Think Frozen Sashimi, With a Side of Reindeer Blood," 9 Feb. 2020 Thursday and Friday could see lows in the single digits or negative temperatures. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee snow: 3 to 5 inches are expected to fall through this evening, then mild winter weather returns," 9 Feb. 2020 Each screening will be conducted on a case-by-case basis and some will include non-touch temperature readings when deemed appropriate. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Cruise industry bolstering coronavirus screening measures as multiple ships are under quarantine," 8 Feb. 2020 Road temperatures should remain above freezing, though, meaning snow will stick only to cold, elevated surfaces, such as shrubs, grills and mailboxes. Allison Chinchar, CNN, "Southern states see first snow of the season," 8 Feb. 2020 The evacuees undergo temperature screens twice daily. Sara Cline, ExpressNews.com, "None of coronavirus evacuees in SA showing signs of illness," 8 Feb. 2020

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

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for temperature

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

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Time Traveler for temperature

Time Traveler

The first known use of temperature was in 1533

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Statistics for temperature

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Temperature.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temperature. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for temperature


How to pronounce temperature (audio) How to pronounce temperature (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of temperature

: a measurement that indicates how hot or cold something is : a measurement in degrees showing the heat of something (such as air or water)
: a measurement of the heat in a person's body
: a level of heat that is above what is normal for the human body


tem·​per·​a·​ture | \ ˈtem-pə-rə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce temperature (audio) , -prə-ˌchu̇r, -pə-ˌchu̇r, -chər \

Kids Definition of temperature

1 : degree of hotness or coldness as measured on a scale
2 : abnormally high body heat : fever


tem·​per·​a·​ture | \ ˈtem-pə(r)-ˌchu̇(ə)r How to pronounce temperature (audio) , -p(ə-)rə- How to pronounce temperature (audio) , -chər, -ˌt(y)u̇(ə)r \

Medical Definition of temperature

1 : degree of hotness or coldness measured on a definite scale — see thermometer
2a : the degree of heat that is natural to a living body a normal oral temperature of about 98.6°F
b : a condition of abnormally high body heat was running a temperature

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