Meaning of temperance


Temperance means restraint and moderation, but if you’re talking about alcohol, temperance means not just drinking in moderation, it means not having it at all.

The temperance movement appeared in the U.S. in the 19th century, at first urging moderation in drinking but eventually seeking to outlaw alcohol entirely. It managed to get Prohibition enacted in 1919, which did outlaw alcohol, but it was repealed in 1933. Temperance doesn’t just have to do with alcohol, it can refer to avoiding any kind of excess: if your new diet requires temperance, you’re eating in a balanced, sensible way. Temperance comes from the Latin temperare, “restrain.”

Definitions of temperance
  1. noun

    the trait of avoiding excesses



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    the quality of being intemperate

    dryness, sobriety

    moderation in or abstinence from alcohol or other drugs

    moderation in eating and drinking
    type of:

    natural virtue

    (scholasticism) one of the four virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) derived from nature
    control, restraint

    discipline in personal and social activities

  2. noun

    abstaining from excess



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    type of:


    act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite

  3. noun

    the act of tempering

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    type of:

    combination, combining, compounding

    the act of combining things to form a new whole

Word Family

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