See also: Temperance and tempérance



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From Anglo-Norman temperance, from Latin temperantia (moderation, sobriety, discretion, self-control), from temperans, present participle of temperare (to moderate). See temper.



temperance (plural temperances)

  1. Habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence
    temperance in eating and drinking
    temperance in the indulgence of joy
  2. moderation, and sometimes abstinence, in respect to using intoxicating liquors.
    • 1877, Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
      On these occasions I have noticed such a dreamy, vacant expression in his eyes, that I might have suspected him of being addicted to the use of some narcotic, had not the temperance and cleanliness of his whole life forbidden such a notion.
  3. Moderation of passion; patience; calmness; sedateness.
  4. (obsolete) State with regard to heat or cold; temperature.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

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