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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The next day, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved the temporary restraining order. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 July 2021 Superior Court Judge Helen Williams last week denied Gokcek’s request for a temporary restraining order that would have allowed T.G. back into the classroom. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 20 July 2021 The matter is being investigated to determine if there were any violations in regard to a previous incident and temporary protection order. cleveland, 17 July 2021 In 2017, Hils sought a temporary restraining order against the agency creating a controversy that reached the top of the city's government. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 16 July 2021 The pace dropped when Biden first took office, under a temporary order that elevated permit reviews to senior administration officials. The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 July 2021 Fletcher-Hill imposed a temporary retraining order earlier this month that allowed the unemployment benefits to continue until July 13. Washington Post, 13 July 2021 The judge’s Tuesday morning decision essentially extending his previous court order came just before the temporary restraining order was set to expire. Bryn Stole, baltimoresun.com, 13 July 2021 Baltimore City Circuit Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill also granted a 10-day temporary restraining order requiring the state to keep paying the benefits. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, 12 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Why the move to such a high percent of a firm’s staff being temporaries of one form or another? Phil Blair, sandiegouniontribune.com, 11 Sep. 2017 Temporary Protected Status was first provided to Haitians under the Obama administration following Haiti’s devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, 9 May 2017

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.

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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

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Temporary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/temporary. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for temporary



English Language Learners Definition of temporary

: continuing for a limited amount of time : not permanent
: intended to be used for a limited amount of time


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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