tempo-, tempor-, temp-

(Latin: time, occasion)

Don't confuse this tempo- element with other words that refer to the temples; such as, the flattened sides of the forehead or the buildings used for religious worship or services. They simply have no connection with this element.

We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams.

—Jeremy Irons, actor
contemporaneity (s) (noun), contemporaneities (pl)
1. Two or more things that take place at the same interlude: The contemporaneity of Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi can be explained in that they both lived and composed music in Europe during the 17th and 18th century.
2. The characteristic of being current or up-to-date: The shopping mall in the city had the latest contemporaneities of dresses and shoes, all very stylish and chic!
contemporaneous (kuhn tem" puh RAY nee uhs) (adjective), more contemporaneous, most contemporaneous
1. Relating to existing, occurring, or beginning at the same time or starting during the same day as something else: Jane and her teacher at school had contemporaneous birthdays, both being on June 16th!
2. Etymology: from Latin, con-, "together with" + temporaneus; from tempus, tempor-, "time" + -ous .
contemporaneously (adverb), more contemporaneously, most contemporaneously
Describing how two or more circumstances occur at the same period: Pressing the foot on the gas pedal and watching the traffic in front and in back of the car must be performed simultaneously or contemporaneously.
contemporaneousness (s) (noun) (no plural)
Incidents that overlap each other concurrently: The contemporaneousness of going to college and working to earn money at the same time is quite a challenge.
contemporarily (adverb), more contemporarily, most contemporarily
Referring to living or happening simultaneously: Joyce loves to wear clothing that is contemporarily designed and sewn by a friend of hers.
contemporariness (s) (noun) (usually no plural)
Something that exists or overlaps in duration: Lisa loves working in the contemporariness of her city with so many people of different nationalities living side by side every day.
contemporary (adjective), more contemporary, most contemporary
1. Existing or occurring at, or dating from, the same period of time as something or someone else: Many contemporary patents for the incandescent light bulb were granted in different parts of the world during the 1800s.
2. In existence now: The art class at school went to the museum to see contemporary paintings of present-day artists.
3. Distinctively modern in style: The architects were busy designing a contemporary concert hall with all the newest inventions for acoustics.
4. Of the same, or approximately the same, age as someone else: Giuseppe Verdi, Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann, and Frédéric Chopin were all contemporary composers, all born between 1810 and 1813.
5. Etymology: from Medieval Latin (Latin as written and spoken about 700 to about 1500) contemporarius which came from Latin con-, "with" + temporarius, "of time" from tempus, "time".
contemporate (verb), contemporates; contemporated; contemporating
To agree to synchronize when to do something: The two friends contemporated about a time to meet in the city so they could go shopping together.
contemporization (s) (noun), contemporizations (pl)
A historical sequence that is presented during the current period: In Joleen’s class at school the students were asked to write that day about the contemporization of their lives, or life stories, including their experiences, adventures, etc.
contemporize (verb), contemporizes; contemporized; contemporizing
1. To make something modern or fashionable: Lois had an old dress which she tried to contemporize by sewing it in a stylish up-to-date manner.
2. To place someone or something in the same time period as others: The memories Joanna had were contemporized with old or previous times she had as a child in the country.
3. To come about or to occur at the same time; to synchronize: Rain didn’t contemporize with Janet's outdoor birthday party and everyone had a wonderful time enjoying the good food and the great weather.
contretemps (pl) (noun) (plural used as a singular)
1. An unfortunate circumstance; especially, an awkward or embarrassing one: A contretemps, or an unlucky incident, happened when the applicant for the job bumped into the back of the car which belonged to the owner of the company!
2. A mishap or embarrassing occurrence: Contretemps can take place during a ballet when a dancer stumbles or slips by mistake.
3. Etymology: from French : contre-, against which came from Latin contr-, "against" + tempus, "time"; literally, "against the time".
An awkward or unlucky mishap.
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An embarassing incident.
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distemper (s) (noun), distempers (pl)
1. Any mental or physical disorder or indisposition: Sometimes when Jill’s father hadn’t eaten anything for a long time, his good mood turned to distemper and he became quite disagreeable and ill humored.
2. A potentially fatal viral disease of animals; especially dogs and cats, characterized by rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the nose ), fever, and a loss of appetite: Distemper is a virus which can be extremely contagious among the canine animals and causes coughing and fever.
3. Etymology: from Old French destemprer,"to put out of order"; from Middle Latin distemperare from dis-, "undoing, reversal" + Latin temperare, "to mingle in due proportion, to combine properly, to moderate, to regulate"; from tempus, temporis, "time".
—Compiled from information located in
A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language by
Dr.Ernest Klein; Elsevier Publishing Company;
New York; 1966; pages 464 & 465.

English has two distinct words for distemper although ultimately they come from the same source.

Latin temperare, "mingle" (source of English temper; derived from Latin tempus, "time, due time"; from temperate, and temperature. This formed the basis of two separate medieval Latin verbs, both compounded from the prefix dis- but using it in quite different ways.

  1. Dis- in the sense "reversal of a current state" joined with temperare in the specialized meaning, "mingle in proper proportion" to produce distemperare, "to upset the proper balance of bodily humours"; hence, "to vex, to make ill".

    This passed directly into English as distemper, and survives today mainly as the term for an infectious disease of dogs and cats.

  2. Dis- joined with temperare in its intensive function produced medieval Latin distemperare, "to mix thoroughly, to soak", which entered English via Old French destemprer in the 14th century.

    The meaning "to soak, to steep, to infuse" survived until the 17th century. The word's modern application, to a water-based decorator's paint, comes from the fact that the pigment is mixed with or infused in water (the same notion lies behind tempera, borrowed from Italian).

—Compiled from information located in
Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto;
Arcade Publishing; New York; 1990; page 176.
distemperance (s) (noun), distemperances (pl)
A lack or absence of moderation; specifically, an excess in drinking or other indulgences: After being at the pub for a long time, distemperance was noted in Steven’s behavior because he had had too many beers so he was sent home by taxi instead of being allowed to drive his car.
distemperate (verb), distemperates; distemperated; distemperating
1. To exceed the bounds of moderation or to be excessive in one's behavior or actions as to cover up something: Joe's friend has been known to distemperate the sides of a lot of buildings and walls in his town with posters, murals, and comical images.
2. Etymology: from Late Latin distemperare, literally, "to mix thoroughly"; from Latin dis, in the sense "completely" + tempare, "to mix, to mingle in due proportion, to combine properly"; from temps, genitive of temporis, "time".
distemperate (adjective), more distemperate, most distemperate
Relating to doing what is abnormal and unacceptable: Sam and Sally had quite a distemperate habit of spending much more money than they earned, which threw them into debt with the bank.