Temper is a word used to denote a variety of qualities. It derives from Temperare (to mix correctly) the Latin origin of words like "temperature" and "tempering"; it and "tempo" come, in turn, from tempus (time or season). Thus, the word "temper" can refer (at least informally) to any time- and temperature-sensitive process, a material's thermo-mechanical history, or even its composition.
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- Men are like steel — when they lose their temper, they lose their worth.
- Good temper, like a sunny day, sheds a brightness over everything; it is the sweetener of toil and the soother of disquietude.
- Washington Irving, in Gems for the Fireside (1882) by Otis Henry Tiffany, p. 48
- The happiness and misery of men depend no less on temper than fortune.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims and Moral Reflections (1791), CLVII, p. 48
- Courtesy of temper, when it is used to veil churlishness of deed, is but a knight's girdle around the breast of a base clown.
- Walter Scott, as quoted in "Gleanings from Many Minds" in The Guernsey magazine (October 1876)
- Through certain humors or passions, and from temper merely, a man may be completely miserable, let his outward circumstances be ever so fortunate.
- Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, as quoted in Day's Collacon : An Encyclopaedia of Prose Quotations: (1884), p. 930