tem·​pered ˈtem-pərd How to pronounce tempered (audio)
: treated by tempering
especially, of glass : treated so as to impart increased strength and the property of shattering into pellets when broken
: having a specified temper
used in combination
: having the elements mixed in satisfying proportions : temperate
: qualified, lessened, or diluted by the mixture or influence of an additional ingredient : moderated
a pale gleam of tempered sunlight fell through the leavesW. H. Hudson †1922
: conforming to adjustment by temperament
used of a musical interval, intonation, semitone, or scale

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The coach was not just intense but also hot-tempered and vengeful at times. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Dec. 2022 Dorothy is described as witty and practical, yet short-tempered. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 27 Oct. 2022 There’s a tempered glass door with a large handle and soft lighting that creates a relaxing ambiance. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Dec. 2022 Father-son: In 1980 Queens, New York City, artistic young high schooler Paul (Banks Repeta) endeavors to be truly understood and embraced by his short-tempered, working-class dad, Irving (Jeremy Strong). Daniel Vaillancourt, Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2022 This new one from Jason Derulo and Shouse taps a bit into that epic feeling, but with a modern and tempered R&B twist. Katie Bain, Billboard, 4 Nov. 2022 Wining Boy remains a smooth scammer, and Doaker is an even-tempered dispenser of wisdom. Maya Phillips, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2022 The financial commitments are one reason U.S. partners in the Middle East have so far stayed neutral or tempered criticism of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Rory Jones, WSJ, 5 Mar. 2022 You’ve been described as very even-tempered and warm, but also as someone who’s punched holes in walls. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Time Traveler
The first known use of tempered was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near tempered

Cite this Entry

“Tempered.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempered. Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


tem·​pered ˈtem-pərd How to pronounce tempered (audio)
: made moderate
strictness tempered by compassion
: having a particular kind of temper
used in combination
a bad-tempered dog
: brought to the desired state (as of hardness, toughness, or flexibility)
tempered steel
tempered glass
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!