Webster 1913 Edition



, L.
due measure, proportion, temper, temperament.]
Constitution; state; degree of any quality.
The best composition and
is, to have openness in fame and opinion, secrecy in habit, dissimulation in seasonable use, and a power to feign, if there be no remedy.
Memory depends upon the consistence and the
of the brain.
I. Watts.
Freedom from passion; moderation.
In that proud port, which her so goodly graceth,
Most goodly
you may descry.
Mixture; compound.
Made a
of brass and iron together.
Absolute temperature
See under
Animal temperature
the nearly constant temperature maintained in the bodies of warm-blooded (homoiothermal) animals during life. The ultimate source of the heat is to be found in the potential energy of the food and the oxygen which is absorbed from the air during respiration. See
Temperature sense
the faculty of perceiving cold and warmth, and so of perceiving differences of temperature in external objects.
H. N. Martin.

Webster 1828 Edition



[L. temperature.]
In physics, the state of a body with regard to heat or cold, as indicated by the thermometer; or the degree of free caloric which a body possesses,when compared with other bodies. When a body applied to another, either excites the sensation of heat, or expands that body, we say it is of a higher temperature; that is, it possesses more free caloric. When it excites the sensation of cold, or contracts another body, it is said to be of a lower temperature. Thus we speak of the temperature of air, of water, of a climate, &c.; two countries of the same temperature.
Constitution; state; degree of any quality.
Memory depends upon the consistence and temperature of the brain.
Moderation; freedom from immoderate passions.
In that proud port, which her so goodly graceth,
Most goodly temperature you may descry.
[Not in use.]

Definition 2022



See also: température



temperature (countable and uncountable, plural temperatures)

  1. (obsolete) The state or condition of being tempered or moderated.
  2. (now rare, archaic) The balance of humours in the body, or one's character or outlook as considered determined from this; temperament.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Bk.I, New York 2001, p.136:
      Our intemperence it is that pulls so many several incurable diseases on our heads, that hastens old age, perverts our temperature, and brings upon us sudden death.
    • 1759, Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, Penguin 2003, p.5:
      [] that not only the production of a rational Being was concern'd in it, but that possibly the happy foundation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind […].
    • 1993, James Michie, trans. Ovid, The Art of Love, Book II:
      Only a strong dose of love will cure / A woman with an angry temperature.
  3. A measure of cold or heat, often measurable with a thermometer.
    The boiling temperature of pure water is 100 degrees Celsius.
    • 2013 May 11, The climate of Tibet: Pole-land”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
      Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
  4. An elevated body temperature, as present in fever and many illnesses.
    You have a temperature; I think you should stay home today. You’re sick.
  5. (when not used in relation with something) The temperature(1) of the immediate environment.
    The temperature dropped nearly 20 degrees; it went from hot to cold.
  6. (thermodynamics) A property of macroscopic amounts of matter that serves to gauge the average intensity of the random actual motions of the individually mobile particulate constituents.


  • 2007, James Shipman, Jerry Wilson, Aaron Todd, An Introduction to Physical Science: Twelfth Edition, pages 106108:
    Heat and temperature, although different, are intimately related. [...] For example, suppose you added equal amounts of heat to equal masses of iron and aluminum. How do you think their temperatures would change? [...] if the temperature of the iron increased by 100 C°, the corresponding temperature change in the aluminum would be only 48 C°.


Derived terms

  • land skin temperature

Related terms