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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Temper


TEM'PER, verb transitive [Latin tempero, to mix or moderate]

1. To mix so that one part qualifies the other; to bring to a moderate state; as, to temper justice with mercy.

2. To compound; to form by mixture; to qualify, as by an ingredient; or in general, to mix, unite or combine two or more things so as to reduce the excess of the qualities of either, and bring the whole to the desired consistence or state.

Thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy. Exodus 30:35.

3. To unite in due proportion; to render symmetrical; to adjust, as parts to each other.

God hath tempered the body together. 1 Corinthians 12:24.

4. To accommodate; to modify.

Thy sustenance serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking.

5. To soften; to mollify; to assuage; to soothe; to calm; to reduce any violence or excess.

Solon--labored to temper the warlike courages of the Athenians with sweet delights of learning.

Woman! nature made thee

To temper man; we had been brutes without you.

6. To form to a proper degree of hardness; as, to temper iron or steel.

The temper'd metals clash, and yield a silver sound.

7. To govern; a Latinism. [Not in use.]

8. In music, to modify or amend a false or imperfect concord by transferring to it a part of the beauty of a perfect one, that is, by dividing the tones.

TEM'PER, noun Due mixture of different qualities; or the state of any compound substance which results from the mixture of various ingredients; as the temper of mortar.

1. Constitution of body. [In this sense we more generally use temperament.]

2. Disposition of mind; the constitution of the mind, particularly with regard to the passions and affections; as a calm temper; a hasty temper; a fretful temper This is applicable to beasts as well as to man.

Remember with what mild

And gracious temper he both heard and judg'd.

3. Calmness of mind; moderation.

Restore yourselves unto your tempers, fathers.

To fall with dignity, with temper rise.

4. Heat of mind or passion; irritation. The boy showed a great deal of temper when I reproved him.

So we say, a man of violent temper when we speak of his irritability. [This use of the word is common, though a deviation from its original and genuine meaning.]

5. The state of a metal, particularly as to its hardness; as the temper of iron or steel.

6. Middle course; mean or medium.

7. In sugar works, white lime or other substance stirred into a clarifier filled with cane-juice, to neutralize the super abundant acid.