Temper can refer to a tendency to become unreasonably angry. If you’re not sure whether you have a temper, ask your friends — but don’t get mad if you dislike what they have to say.

Temper has a number of related yet distinct meanings. In addition to describing a tendency to anger, temper can also refer to one’s mood in general; if you use the word in this sense, you might describe someone's temper as "angry" or "mild." Temper can also be used as a verb meaning “to restrain.” If you have a nasty temper, you might try tempering your temper by counting to ten whenever you’re tempted to throw a "temper tantrum," or fit.

Definitions of temper
  1. noun
    a characteristic (habitual or relatively temporary) state of feeling
    “whether he praised or cursed me depended on his temper at the time”
    synonyms: humor, humour, mood
    see moresee less
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    an annoyed or irritated mood
    sulk, sulkiness
    a mood or display of sullen aloofness or withdrawal
    amiability, good humor, good humour, good temper
    a cheerful and agreeable mood
    distemper, ill humor, ill humour
    an angry and disagreeable mood
    jolliness, jollity, joviality
    feeling jolly and jovial and full of good humor
    a sullen gloomy feeling
    choler, crossness, fretfulness, fussiness, irritability, peevishness, petulance
    an irritable petulant feeling
    type of:
    the experiencing of affective and emotional states
  2. noun
    a disposition to exhibit uncontrolled anger
    “his temper was well known to all his employees”
    synonyms: biliousness, irritability, peevishness, pettishness, snappishness, surliness
    see moresee less
    the quality of being given to complaining
    type of:
    ill nature
    a disagreeable, irritable, or malevolent disposition
  3. noun
    a sudden outburst of anger
    “his temper sparked like damp firewood”
    synonyms: irritation, pique
    see moresee less
    type of:
    annoyance, chafe, vexation
    anger produced by some annoying irritation
  4. verb
    make more temperate, acceptable, or suitable by adding something else; moderate
    “she tempered her criticism”
    synonyms: mollify, season
    see moresee less
    type of:
    lessen the strength of
  5. verb
    synonyms: chasten, moderate
    see moresee less
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  6. noun
    the elasticity and hardness of a metal object; its ability to absorb considerable energy before cracking
    synonyms: toughness
    see moresee less
    type of:
    elasticity, snap
    the tendency of a body to return to its original shape after it has been stretched or compressed
  7. verb
    bring to a desired consistency, texture, or hardness by a process of gradually heating and cooling
    temper glass”
    synonyms: anneal, normalize
    see moresee less
    type of:
    harden, indurate
    make hard or harder
  8. verb
    harden by reheating and cooling in oil
    temper steel”
    synonyms: harden
    see moresee less
    type of:
    make less severe or harsh or extreme
  9. verb
    adjust the pitch (of pianos)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    adjust, correct, set
    alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week