tem·​po·​rary | \ ˈtem-pə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce temporary (audio) \

Definition of temporary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: lasting for a limited time


plural temporaries

Definition of temporary (Entry 2 of 2)

: one serving for a limited time adding several temporaries as typists during the summer

Other Words from temporary


temporariness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for temporary

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of temporary in a Sentence

Adjective The drug will give you temporary relief from the pain. The delay is only temporary. The settlers built temporary shelters.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bush's proposal was to allow temporary foreign guest workers to enter the U.S. and work legally, then go back home. Ronn Blitzer, Fox News, 20 Sep. 2022 Around 3,000 full-time workers paying on average $135,000 a year and 7,000 temporary construction workers will be employed in the first phase of the plant. Laura Hancock, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2022 For a health care system desperate to fill immediate holes in their payroll, there are few options other than temporary workers. oregonlive, 3 Sep. 2022 That’s why, when staffing needs arise, employers can benefit from employing temporary workers or hiring freelancers on a project-to-project basis as well as interim executive leaders. Camille Fetter, Forbes, 25 Aug. 2022 Many had been hired as temporary workers or under grants, but after the grants expired, the hirees weren’t terminated. San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Aug. 2022 Because they are often undocumented, or, increasingly, temporary foreign guest workers, farmworkers are among the most vulnerable and difficult to organize members of the labor force. Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2022 Of the more than 4,000 temporary foreign workers estimated to be on the Cape and Islands this summer, roughly a quarter are from Jamaica, most on H-2B visas, according to Cape Cod immigration lawyer and H-2B expert Matthew Lee. Katie Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 2022 The temporary workers typically work in the local area hospitality businesses and a shuttle service would be provided to the work sites. Kathy Jumper, al, 14 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Two new installations at Storm King For those who have already visited the art center, two new installations, one permanent and the other temporary, offer compelling reasons to return. Irene S. Levine, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 But senators from both parties called the setback temporary, and another vote was expected as soon as Monday. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 10 Aug. 2021 Measures of address changes, some temporary of course, were up over 27% in 2020 as moves spiked early in the pandemic and this trend has continued into 2021. Ben Baldanza, Forbes, 7 July 2021 Instead, a teacher may move from a temporary to a permanent license if the individual has not been placed on an improvement plan. Caroline Maguire And Laura Mogelson, Star Tribune, 6 May 2021 Penrod reached out to Marquette city officials, and last spring got the relevant stretch of road within the park temporary closed to evening and overnight vehicular traffic — when the emerging salamanders are on the move. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, 22 Mar. 2021 That’s a common thread for those leaving the Bay Area: embracing the ambiguity of life during the pandemic and accepting that the temporary may blur into the permanent. Anna Kramer is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Anna Kramer, SFChronicle.com, 7 Sep. 2020 This allowed undocumented immigrants brought to America as children who enrolled in or graduated from school, university or the armed forces and had no criminal record temporary, renewable legal working papers. The Economist, 28 June 2018 Salvadorans were first allowed to apply for temporary protected status by the George W. Bush administration after major earthquakes devastated parts of El Salvador in 2001, causing many to flee the country. Monroe Trombly, Cincinnati.com, 16 Jan. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'temporary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of temporary


circa 1564, in the meaning defined above


1848, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for temporary


borrowed from Latin temporārius "suited to the occasion, made for the occasion, lasting a limited time," from tempor-, tempus "time, period of time" + -ārius -ary entry 2 — more at tempo


derivative of temporary entry 1

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Time Traveler for temporary

Time Traveler

The first known use of temporary was circa 1564

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Dictionary Entries Near temporary



temporary annuity

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Statistics for temporary

Last Updated

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Temporary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temporary. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for temporary


tem·​po·​rary | \ ˈtem-pə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce temporary (audio) \

Kids Definition of temporary

: not permanent We performed on a temporary stage.

Other Words from temporary

temporarily \ ˌtem-​pə-​ˈrer-​ə-​lē \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on temporary

Nglish: Translation of temporary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of temporary for Arabic Speakers


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