Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Exercising moderation and self-restraint: learned to be temperate in eating and drinking.
  • adj. Moderate in degree or quality; restrained: temperate criticism.
  • adj. Characterized by moderate temperatures, weather, or climate; neither hot nor cold.
  • adj. Biology Of or relating to a virus that infects bacterial cells but rarely causes lysis: temperate bacteriophages.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Moderate; not excessive; as, temperate heat; a temperate climate.
  • adj. Moderate in the indulgence of the natural appetites or passions; as, temperate in eating and drinking.
  • adj. Proceeding from temperance.
  • v. To render temperate; to moderate; to soften; to temper.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Moderate; not excessive.
  • adj. Not marked with passion; not violent; cool; calm.
  • adj. Moderate in the indulgence of the natural appetites or passions.
  • adj. Proceeding from temperance.
  • transitive v. To render temperate; to moderate; to soften; to temper.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Moderate; showing moderation; not excessive, lavish, or inordinate.
  • More especially— Moderate as regards the indulgence of the appetites or desires; abstemious; sober; continent: as, temperate in eating; temperate habits.
  • Not violent or extravagant in the use of language; calm; measured; dispassionate: as, a temperate discourse.
  • Not swayed by passion; calm; self-contained; self-restrained; not extreme in opinions.
  • Proceeding from temperance; moderate.
  • Moderate in respect of temperature; not liable to excessive heat or cold; mild; specifically, noting certain zones of the earth's surface.
  • In music, same as tempered.
  • = Syn. 1-4. Moderate, Temperate. See moderate.
  • To temper; moderate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not extreme
  • adj. (of weather or climate) free from extremes; mild; or characteristic of such weather or climate
  • adj. not extreme in behavior

Etymologies

Middle English temperat, from Latin temperātus, from past participle of temperāre, to temper; see temper.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin temperatus, past participle of temperare ("moderate, forbear, combine properly"). See temper. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I would like your temperate drinker to pause, and reflect upon the fact, that the quantity of brandy or rum that he took at a drink, when he commenced this downhill course, has been gradually increased; so that in the second year, what had been quite sufficient to please his palate and produce all the desired effects in the first, was then insipidly small; and more so in the third year, if, mayhap, he could with any decency lay claim to the title of _temperate drinker_ so long.

    Select Temperance Tracts

  • The speleologists have been so busy up here in what we call the temperate zone that they haven't had a chance or the inclination to take their lights any deeper.

    Flinx In Flux

  • Who will indulge in what he calls the temperate use, flattering himself that he can control his appetite, when thousands, who have boasted of _self-control_, have found themselves, ere they were aware, within the coil of a serpent whose touch is poison, and whose sting is death?

    Select Temperance Tracts

  • The cold rushes in at every crack of door and window, apparently signaled by the flame to invade the house and fill it with chilly drafts and sarcasms on what we call the temperate zone.

    Backlog Studies

  • Chilly drafts and sarcasms on what we call the temperate zone

    Images from Works of Charles D. Warner

  • On the contrary, when the heat of the air falls below what we call temperate, or when cold is applied to the body, from the accustomed stimulus of heat being diminished, the excitability must accumulate, or become more liable to be affected by the action of the external powers.

    A Lecture on the Preservation of Health

  • "Vengeance is mine," saith the Lord, and He saith it in temperate climes where the warm sun steals away the energies of men.

    JAN, THE UNREPENTANT

  • The plant can be greenhouse grown in temperate climates.

    Ponytail palm, croton and dwarf poinciana: ornamental plants and flowers of tropical Mexico

  • Persistent rainfall of 80″ or more in temperate climates is pretty rare.

    Matthew Yglesias » By Request: Missing the Trees

  • The Northern Hemisphere has experienced a WILD growth in temperate since January!

    Top senators introduce comprehensive energy bill

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