Distemper Definition

dĭs-tĕmpər
distempers
noun
distempers
An infectious viral disease occurring in dogs, characterized by loss of appetite, a catarrhal discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting, fever, lethargy, partial paralysis caused by destruction of myelinated nerve tissue, and sometimes death.
American Heritage
A similar viral disease of cats characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea leading to dehydration, and sometimes death.
American Heritage
Any of several infectious diseases of animals, characterized by rhinitis, fever, etc.
Webster's New World
A mental or physical derangement or disorder; disease.
Webster's New World
Civil disorder or turmoil.
Webster's New World
Antonyms:
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verb
distempers
To put out of order.
American Heritage
To make bad-tempered; disturb; ruffle.
Webster's New World
To upset or unbalance the functions of; derange; disorder.
Webster's New World
To mix (colors or pigments) with water and glue, size, or some other binding medium.
Webster's New World
To paint with such a mixture.
Webster's New World
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Origin of Distemper

  • From Middle English distemperen to upset the balance of the humors from Old French destemprer to disturb from Late Latin distemperāre Latin dis- dis- Latin temperāre to mix properly

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English distemperen to dilute distemper1

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French destemprer, from Latin distemperare

    From Wiktionary

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