English

Definition of temper verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    temper

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈtempə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtempər//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they temper
    BrE BrE//ˈtempə(r)//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtempər//
     
    he / she / it tempers
    BrE BrE//ˈtempəz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtempərz//
     
    past simple tempered
    BrE BrE//ˈtempəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtempərd//
     
    past participle tempered
    BrE BrE//ˈtempəd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtempərd//
     
    -ing form tempering
    BrE BrE//ˈtempərɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtempərɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1temper something (with something) (formal) to make something less severe by adding something that has the opposite effect Justice must be tempered with mercy. The hot sunny days were tempered by a light breeze. His delight was tempered by regret.
  2. 2temper something (specialist) to make metal as hard as it needs to be by heating and then cooling it tempered steel
  3. Word Origin Old English temprian ‘bring something into the required condition by mixing it with something else’, from Latin temperare ‘mingle, restrain’. Sense development was probably influenced by Old French temprer ‘to temper, moderate’. The noun originally denoted a proportionate mixture of elements or qualities, also the combination of the four bodily humours, believed in medieval times to be the basis of temperament, hence senses (1) to (3) (late Middle English). Compare with temperament.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: temper