temporal

adjective (1)
tem·​po·​ral | \ˈtem-p(ə-)rəl \

Definition of temporal 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : of or relating to time as opposed to eternity

b : of or relating to earthly life

c : lay or secular rather than clerical or sacred : civil lords temporal

2 : of or relating to grammatical tense or a distinction of time

3a : of or relating to time as distinguished from space

b : of or relating to the sequence of time or to a particular time : chronological

temporal

noun
tem·​po·​ral | \ˈtem-p(ə-)rəl \

Definition of temporal (Entry 2 of 3)

: a bodily part (such as a bone or muscle) that is near the temples or the sides of the skull behind the orbits : a temporal part

temporal

adjective (2)
tem·​po·​ral | \ˈtem-p(ə-)rəl \

Definition of temporal (Entry 3 of 3)

: of or relating to the temples or the sides of the skull behind the orbits

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Other Words from temporal

Adjective (1)

temporally adverb

Did You Know?

Temporal existence is often contrasted with spiritual existence, which many religions teach is eternal. The American system of government features a separation of church and state—that is, a separation of spiritual and temporal authority. But such separation is relatively recent. In past centuries, the Roman Catholic Church exerted temporal authority—that is, political power—throughout much of Europe, and the Church of England has always been officially headed by the temporal ruler of Great Britain. Temporal isn't always used in religious contexts; for example, child psychologists often measure "temporal processing"—that is, speed of thinking—in children with mental difficulties. Note that temporal may also mean "near the temples (of the head);" thus, your brain's temporal lobes are situated at your temples. But this temporal is based on a different Latin root.

Examples of temporal in a Sentence

Adjective (1)

The struggle of the dispersed Tibetan people is made all the more newsworthy by the nonviolent emphasis of their spiritual and temporal leader, the Nobel Peace laureate Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in Dharamsala, India. — Flynne Bachleda, Publisher's Weekly, 15 Aug. 1994 By eschewing history and politics, The Last Train From Madrid leeches war of its particular temporal context, providing an eight-year-old with his first glimpse of war as eternal anonymous suffering. — Donald Hall, Harper's, May 1991 … each in their own way wanted an authority which could both uphold the law and maintain the order of society; once the first age was over, the consequence of this was the de facto separation between those who maintained the law … and the men of the sword who had the power to enforce temporal order. — Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, 1991 The history of life is not a continuum of development, but a record punctuated by brief, sometimes geologically instantaneous, episodes of mass extinction and subsequent diversification. The geological time scale maps this history, for fossils provide our chief criterion in fixing the temporal order of rocks. — Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life, 1989
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First Known Use of temporal

Adjective (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1541, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

1597, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for temporal

Adjective (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French temporel, from Latin temporalis, from tempor-, tempus time

Noun

Middle French, from temporal, adjective — see temporal entry 1

Adjective (2)

Middle French, from Late Latin temporalis, from Latin tempora temples

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Time Traveler for temporal

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

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More Definitions for temporal

temporal

adjective
tem·​po·​ral | \ˈtem-p(ə-)rəl \

Medical Definition of temporal 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: of or relating to time as distinguished from space also : of or relating to the sequence of time or to a particular time

Other Words from temporal

temporally \ -​ē \ adverb

temporal

noun

Medical Definition of temporal (Entry 2 of 3)

: a temporal part (as a bone or muscle)

temporal

adjective

Medical Definition of temporal (Entry 3 of 3)

: of or relating to the temples or the sides of the skull behind the orbits

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More from Merriam-Webster on temporal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for temporal

Spanish Central: Translation of temporal

Nglish: Translation of temporal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of temporal for Arabic Speakers

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