distemper (plural distempers)
- (veterinary medicine, pathology) A viral disease of animals, such as dogs and cats, characterised by fever, coughing and catarrh.
- (archaic) A disorder of the humours of the body; a disease.
- A water-based paint.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
- He looked round the poor room, at the distempered walls, and the bad engravings in meretricious frames, the crinkly paper and wax flowers on the chiffonier; and he thought of a room like Father Bryan's, with panelling, with cut glass, with tulips in silver pots, such a room as he had hoped to have for his own.
- A painting produced with this kind of paint.
- To temper or mix unduly; to make disproportionate; to change the due proportions of.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Chaucer to this entry?)
- To derange the functions of, whether bodily, mental, or spiritual; to disorder; to disease.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
- The imagination, when completely distempered, is the most incurable of all disordered faculties.
- To deprive of temper or moderation; to disturb; to ruffle; to make disaffected, ill-humoured, or malignant.
- distempered spirits
- To intoxicate.
- The courtiers reeling, / And the duke himself, I dare not say distempered, / But kind, and in his tottering chair carousing.
- To paint using distemper.
- To mix (colours) in the way of distemper.
- to distemper colors with size
Conjugation of distemper
|present tense||past tense|
|1st person singular||distemper||distempered|
|2nd person singular||distemper,
|3rd person singular||distempers,
|1) Archaic or obsolete.|