- Portuguese tempero (“seasoning”) or tempera (“he/she/it seasons; season!”), third-person present singular or imperative tense of temperar (“to season, to temper”), from Latin temperare (“to mix, to temper”).
- Portuguese têmpora (“Ember days”), from Latin tempora, plural of tempus (“time; period”). When Portuguese explorers (mostly Jesuit missionaries) arrived in Japan, they abstained from eating beef, pork, and poultry during the Ember days series of holidays. Instead, they ate fried vegetables and fish. This was the first contact of the Japanese with fried food, and since then they began associating the Portuguese word têmpora (which they pronounced tenpura) with such food.
- ^ 1988, 国語大辞典（新装版） (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
- ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
- 1995, 大辞泉 (Daijisen) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, ISBN 4-09-501211-0
- ^ 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13143-0