General English

  • noun an illness where your body is hotter than normal

General Science

  • noun how hot something is
  • noun a body temperature that is higher than usual, as a sign of illness



  • A measure of the intensity of heat such that heat always flows from a high intensity to a low one. Measured in cooking on the Fahrenheit scale or Celsius scale.


  • noun the heat of the body or of the surrounding air, measured in degrees


  • A temperature of around 10ºC, or 50ºF, is ideal for storing wine, though it is more important that the temperature remains constant. When serving wine the temperature varies according to the type of wine; if a wine is served too cold, it impairs the flavour and aroma and makes the wine seem dull. sparkling wines and sweet white wine can be served cool at between 4 and 10ºC (about 40–50ºF); most white wines should be served between 7 and 10ºC (about 45–50ºF), while rich white wines such as Burgundies should be a little less cold at 10–13ºC (about 50–55ºF) to help release the complex aromas. light red wines can be served cool at around 10–13ºC, whereas red wines from Pinot Noir grapes, particularly Burgundies, should be around 15–16ºC (about 60ºF). full-bodied red wines can be served up to 18ºC (about 65ºF). Most of these temperatures are below modern ‘room temperatures’, which are often too warm for a wine.

Origin & History of “temperature”

like its relatives temper and temperament, temperature originally meant ‘mixture’ (Philemon Holland in 1601 wrote of ‘a temperature of brass and iron together’). The modern sense ‘degree of heat’ emerged in the late 17th century, and seems to have evolved from another early and now obsolete sense, ‘mild weather’. this reflected the ‘restraint’ strand of meaning in the word’s ultimate source, Latin temperāre, which also survives in English temperance and temperate.