tem·​po·​ral·​i·​ty ˌtem-pə-ˈra-lə-tē How to pronounce temporality (audio)
plural temporalities
: civil or political as distinguished from spiritual or ecclesiastical power or authority
: an ecclesiastical property or revenue
often used in plural
: the quality or state of being temporal

Examples of temporality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The works presented — some of which haven’t been exhibited since the time they were made — span various mediums that explore history, temporality and biography. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 In their script, Turturro and Levy, a first-time playwright, tend to alternate between monologues from Sabbath and dramatic action, and the latter tends to occur in a blurred temporality with Sabbath’s memories sometimes overlapping with his present. Vulture, 2 Nov. 2023 The book, the story of Seymour, an ambitious would-be filmmaker and a second-rate husband, explores different temporalities, creating a polyphony of the sweeping, legato past and the rhythmic present. Sam Thielman, The New Yorker, 21 July 2023 As the opening credits sequence ran for the last time, the devastated Mayans reflected on the temporality of life. Henry Chandonnet, Peoplemag, 20 July 2023 Maybe this band’s congenital juvenilia had quietly crystallized into a principled revolt against temporality itself. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 24 May 2023 That’s because Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah understand their father’s unique position in temporality with an intimacy the rest of us will never comprehend. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 2 May 2023 In the former, Linklater filmed a boy and the actors playing his parents over the course of twelve years, creating a single film of wrenching temporality and power; in the Before series, the director filmed actors who played a couple over 25 years in three different films. Alissa Quart, The New Republic, 12 Jan. 2021 The temporality of pain transforms its character. Kieran Setiya, The Atlantic, 1 Nov. 2022

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

Word History


Middle English temperalte, temporalte, temporalyte (in plural or collective) "worldly matters, secular authority," borrowed from Anglo-French temporalté, temporalité, borrowed from Late Latin temporālitāt-, temporālitās "temporary character, duration of the present time," from Latin temporālis temporal entry 1 + -itāt-, -itās -ity

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near temporality

Cite this Entry

“Temporality.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temporality. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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