Tem·per v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tempered p. pr. & vb. n. Tempering.]
1. To mingle in due proportion; to prepare by combining; to modify, as by adding some new element; to qualify, as by an ingredient; hence, to soften; to mollify; to assuage; to soothe; to calm.
Puritan austerity was so tempered by Dutch indifference, that mercy itself could not have dictated a milder system. --Bancroft.
Woman! lovely woman! nature made thee
To temper man: we had been brutes without you. --Otway.
But thy fire
Shall be more tempered, and thy hope far higher. --Byron.
She [the Goddess of Justice] threw darkness and clouds about her, that tempered the light into a thousand beautiful shades and colors. --Addison.
2. To fit together; to adjust; to accomodate.
Thy sustenance . . . serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking. --Wisdom xvi. 21.
3. Metal. To bring to a proper degree of hardness; as, to temper iron or steel.
The tempered metals clash, and yield a silver sound. --Dryden.
4. To govern; to manage. [A Latinism & Obs.]
With which the damned ghosts he governeth,
And furies rules, and Tartare tempereth. --Spenser.
5. To moisten to a proper consistency and stir thoroughly, as clay for making brick, loam for molding, etc.
6. Mus. To adjust, as the mathematical scale to the actual scale, or to that in actual use.
Syn: -- To soften; mollify; assuage; soothe; calm.
Tem·pered a. Brought to a proper temper; as, tempered steel; having (such) a temper; -- chiefly used in composition; as, a good-tempered or bad-tempered man; a well-tempered sword.
adj 1: made hard or flexible or resilient especially by heat
treatment; "a sword of tempered steel"; "tempered
glass" [syn: treated, hardened, toughened] [ant:
2: adjusted or attuned by adding a counterbalancing element;
"criticism tempered with kindly sympathy" [ant: untempered]