temper

Definitions

General English

  • noun the state of becoming angry

General Science

Cars & Driving

  • verb thermal treatment of finished products (metals, alloys, plastics) to remove internal stresses

Construction

  • To bring clay mortar or plaster to the proper consistency by moistening and mixing.
  • To make stronger through processes of heating and cooling. In metals, stress is relieved without affecting hardness by heating to a temperature of 500°F. Other processes use 1000°F to heat materials and which are then allowed to cool naturally in order to soften them and reduce brittleness.
  • The process of treating a wood surface with liquid resins or oils to increase resistance to water damage.

Electronics

  • To subject a material to sustained heating followed by cooling, each at suitable rates, to change its properties. This process can be performed, for instance, to realign the of atoms in a crystal, or to stabilize certain electrical properties.

Food

  • verb to bring a food to the desired consistency, texture or temperature

Real Estate

  • verb to make glass stronger and liable to shatter when broken, to prevent major injuries, either by heating it or by the use of chemicals
  • verb to harden metal by heating it to very high temperatures and then cooling it

Origin & History of “temper”

The verb temper was borrowed into Old English from Latin temperāre ‘mix, blend’. This seems originally to have meant ‘mix in due proportion’, and so may have been derived from Latin tempus ‘time, due time’ (source of English temporary). The noun temper was derived from the verb in the 14th century in the sense ‘mixture of elements’, and this led on in the 17th century to ‘set of mental traits’ (a meaning that has now largely passed to the derivative temperament (15th c.)). The modern sense ‘ill humour’ emerged from this in the 19th century. Another meaning of Latin temperāre was ‘restrain oneself’, which has come through into the derivatives temperance (14th c.) and temperate (14th c.). other relatives include distemper and temperature.

Tamper probably originated as an alteration of temper.
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