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Borrowed from Latin temperatus, past participle of temperare (moderate, forbear, combine properly). See temper.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɛmpəɹət/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: temp‧pe‧rate


temperate (comparative more temperate, superlative most temperate)

  1. Moderate; not excessive
    temperate heat
    a temperate climate.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      Hepaticology, outside the temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere, still lies deep in the shadow cast by that ultimate "closet taxonomist," Franz Stephani—a ghost whose shadow falls over us all.
    • c. 1590–1592, William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i]:
      She is not hot, but temperate as the morn.
    • 1855, Alfred Tennyson, “(please specify the page number(s))”, in Maud, and Other Poems, London: Edward Moxon, [], OCLC 1013215631:
      That sober freedom out of which there springs Our loyal passion for our temperate kings.
  2. Moderate in the indulgence of the natural appetites or passions
    temperate in eating and drinking.
    • August 9, 1768, Benjamin Franklin, To John Alleyne, Esq. On Early Marriages
      Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, OCLC 5661828, pages 14–15:
      I am a temperate man and have made it a rule not to drink before luncheon. But I was so much ashamed of my first feeling about Gorman that I thought it well to break my rule. [] I gave my vote for whisky and soda as the more thorough-going drink of the two. A cocktail is seldom more than a mouthful.
  3. Proceeding from temperance.
    • 1733-1738, Alexander Pope, Imitations of Horace:
      The temperate sleeps, and spirits light as air.
  4. Living in an environment that is temperate, not extreme.
    temperate fishes


Derived terms[edit]

  • (geology) temperate zone, that part of the earth which lies between either tropic and the corresponding polar circle; -- so called because the heat is less than in the torrid zone, and the cold less than in the frigid zones.

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


temperate (third-person singular simple present temperates, present participle temperating, simple past and past participle temperated)

  1. (obsolete) To render temperate; to moderate
    Synonyms: soften, temper
    • 1613, John Marston, The Insatiate Countess:
      It inflames temperance, and temp'rates wrath.







  1. second-person plural present indicative of temperare
  2. second-person plural imperative of temperare
  3. feminine plural of temperato




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of temperō


  • temperate in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • temperate in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers