- Tempered is defined as made harder by adding heat or some substance, or adjusting your temperament.
- When steel is reheated and then cooled in order to make it harder, this is an example of when the steel is tempered.
- When you yell at someone and criticize them but then provide some positive feedback, this is an example of when you tempered your criticism.
- having been given the desired temper, consistency, hardness, etc.: tempered steel
- modified by addition of or mixture with other qualities, ingredients, etc.: the mercy in a tempered justice
- having a (specified kind of) temper: bad-tempered
- Music adjusted to a temperament, esp. equal temperament
- Having a specified temper or disposition. Often used in combination: sweet-tempered; ill-tempered.
- Adjusted or attuned by the addition of a counterbalancing element; moderated or measured: “prepare the country to expect hard choices and to appreciate tempered values and moderation in private and public life” (Haynes Johnson).
- Made appropriately hard or flexible by tempering: a sword of tempered steel.
- Having the requisite degree of hardness or elasticity. Used of glass or a metal.
- Music Tuned to temperament. Used of a scale, an interval, a semitone, or intonation.
- Of one's disposition.
- The Pyncheon Elm, throughout its great circumference, was all alive, and full of the morning sun and a sweet-tempered little breeze, which lingered within this verdant sphere, and set a thousand leafy tongues a-whispering all at once. This aged tree appeared to have suffered nothing from the gale. — Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables, Chapter 19.
- Pertaining to the metallurgical process for finishing metals.
- 1851 "Not forged!" and snatching Perth's levelled iron from the crotch, Ahab held it out, exclaiming -- "Look ye, Nantucketer; here in this hand I hold his death! Tempered in blood, and tempered by lightning are these barbs; and I swear to temper them triply in that hot place behind the fin, where the white whale most feels his accursed life!" — Herman Melville, Moby Dick.
- Of something moderated or balanced by other considerations.
- 1792 The downcast eye, the rosy blush, the retiring grace, are all proper in their season; but modesty, being the child of reason, cannot long exist with the sensibility that is not tempered by reflection — Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.
- (music) Pertaining to the well-tempered scale, where the twelve notes per octave of the standard keyboard are tuned in such a way that it is possible to play music in any major or minor key and it will not sound perceptibly out of tune.
- Simple past tense and past participle of temper.