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used in a sentence

3 meanings
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1  —as in:
bad news tempered by kindness
Definition made less extreme
  • Her criticism was tempered with kindly sympathy.
tempered = made less extreme
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The abject loss she felt when her husband died is tempered by the joy of her new grandchild.
  • tempered = made less extreme
  • Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
    John F. Kennedy  --  Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You
  • There was gladness and mirth and peace everywhere, for we were at rest ourselves on one account, and we were glad, though it was with a tempered joy.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • tempered = made less extreme
  • ...speaking in an authoritative voice, although tempered with respect towards the youthful clergyman whom he addressed:
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • tempered = made less extreme
  • And when Squealer went on to give further graphic details of Boxer's death-bed, the admirable care he had received, and the expensive medicines for which Napoleon had paid without a thought as to the cost, their last doubts disappeared and the sorrow that they felt for their comrade's death was tempered by the thought that at least he had died happy.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • tempered = made less bad
  • He was not ill-fitted to be the head and representative of a community which owed its origin and progress, and its present state of development, not to the impulses of youth, but to the stern and tempered energies of manhood and the sombre sagacity of age; accomplishing so much, precisely because it imagined and hoped so little.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
tempered = made less extreme

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
2  —as in:
tempered steel
Definition made stronger or more flexible by heat treatment — often of steel or glass
  • The sword is made of tempered steel.
tempered = made stronger or more flexible by heat treatment
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • They found a tempered pick axe in Galilee, dating from around 1000 to 1100 BCE.
  • tempered = made stronger by heat treatment
  • Tempered glass is also called safety glass because, in addition to being stronger, when it shatters it breaks into small beads instead of long sharp shards.
  • tempered = made stronger or more flexible by heat treatment
  • Conscious of his own infirmity—that his tempered steel and elasticity are lost—he for ever afterwards looks wistfully about him in quest of support external to himself.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • tempered = strong
  • It was a complete set, made of specially tempered steel, the latest designs in drills, punches, braces and bits, jimmies, clamps, and augers, with two or three novelties, invented by Jimmy himself, in which he took pride.
    O. Henry  --  A Retrieved Reformation

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
3  —as in:
Definition having a typical mood or temperament — often in reference to how easily one is angered
  • She is patient and even-tempered.
tempered = not easily angered or upset
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Nobody wants to work with her because she is bad-tempered.
  • tempered = easily angered or annoyed
  • And to have a house full of children I think I'm pretty even tempered.
    Kaye Gibbons  --  Ellen Foster
  • even tempered = not easily angered or upset
  • And that ugly tempered lady, old Mistress Hibbins, was one.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • tempered = typical mood
  • Benjamin was the oldest animal on the farm, and the worst tempered.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • tempered = having a tendency to get angry
  • Some distance separated the bulls from each other, for they are bad-tempered, very jealous by nature and quick to fight over anything that displeases them.
    Scott O'Dell  --  Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • bad-tempered = tending to get angry or annoyed easily
  • It might be, too, that a witch, like old Mistress Hibbins, the bitter-tempered widow of the magistrate, was to die upon the gallows.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • tempered = typical mood
  • As they descended the steps, it is averred that the lattice of a chamber-window was thrown open, and forth into the sunny day was thrust the face of Mistress Hibbins, Governor Bellingham's bitter-tempered sister, and the same who, a few years later, was executed as a witch.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • tempered = typical mood
  • A reckless, hot-tempered boy, cocky and scared stiff at the same time.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • We march up, moody or good-tempered soldiers—we reach the zone where the front begins and become on the instant human animals.
    Erich Maria Remarque  --  All Quiet on the Western Front
tempered = typical mood

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