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tem·​po·​rary ˈtem-pə-ˌrer-ē How to pronounce temporary (audio)
: lasting for a limited time
temporariness noun


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

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
In April, Jabbari was granted a temporary order of protection, which means the two parties cannot have any direct or third-party contact. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 29 Nov. 2023 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Wednesday that Israeli forces would restart their military campaign as soon as the temporary truce expires. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, 29 Nov. 2023 Last week’s temporary truce marked the first major break in the conflict: Hamas agreed to release some of those hostages, and Israel agreed to release Palestinian prisoners—all women and children. Brian Bushard, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Case in point: a 13,000-square-foot oceanfront mansion in Manhattan Beach, an affluent coastal town about 20 miles from Los Angeles, that’s up for temporary grabs at a stratospheric $120,000 per month. Mark David, Robb Report, 29 Nov. 2023 Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen hopes to incentivize short-term rental owners to use their units as temporary housing as victims of the wildfires continue to face housing insecurity issues. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 29 Nov. 2023 The temporary holiday stores will be in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 29 Nov. 2023 Gaza crisis ‘catastrophic’ as truce enters fifth day The temporary truce between Israel and Hamas has entered a fifth day after the two sides agreed to extend the pause in fighting to allow for the release of more Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 28 Nov. 2023 In response to the emergency filing, the Los Angeles County judge granted a temporary restraining order stating that Jackson must stay at least 100 yards away from both the actress and their son, as well as any childcare or schooling established for the infant. Jack Irvin, Peoplemag, 27 Nov. 2023
After removing the temporaries, Dr. Apa slid in my new veneers, which were then bonded to my current teeth's enamel. Kassidy Silva, Allure, 23 Mar. 2023 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 See More

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

Word History



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

First Known Use


circa 1564, in the meaning defined above


1848, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of temporary was circa 1564

Dictionary Entries Near temporary

Cite this Entry

“Temporary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temporary. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: not permanent : lasting for a limited time
a temporary shortage


from Latin temporarius "lasting for only a short time," from tempus "time" — related to tense entry 1

More from Merriam-Webster on temporary

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