Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A tendency to become angered, enraged, or upset very quickly or easily. I'm usually a pretty calm person, but whenever I start driving, I find I have such a short temper. That short temper of yours is going to get you into trouble one of these days.
An extreme and childish display of unreasonable anger, frustration, or distemper. I can't believe you threw a temper tantrum like that just because I didn't want to go see some movie with you! Becca's been having really bad temper tantrums lately. I guess she's just going into the "terrible twos."
keep one's temperand hold one's temper
to hold back an expression of anger. (The opposite of lose one's temper.) She should have learned to keep her temper when she was a child. Sally got thrown off the team because she couldn't hold her temper.
lose one's temper (at someone or something)
Fig. to become angry at someone or something. Lisa lost her temper and began shouting at Bob. I hate to lose my temper at someone. I always end up feeling guilty.
quick temperand short temper; short fuse
a bad temper that can be easily aroused. Tyler has a quick temper and doesn't mind letting everyone see it.
temper something with something
1. Fig. to harden something, such as metal, with something. You have to temper the metal pieces with very high heat. The sheet of metal was tempered by the application of great pressure.
2. Fig. to soften the impact of something, such as news, with something. We can temper this disaster story a bit with a picture of the happy survivors. The news story was tempered with a paragraph of explanation and justification.
See also: temper
lose your temper
to become very angry If she contradicted him now, he would lose his temper and his blood pressure would shoot up.
tempers frayalso tempers become frayed
if tempers fray among a group of people, they all become angry Tempers frayed when, after waiting for hours, we were told there were no tickets left.
hold one's temper
Also, keep one's temper. Refrain from expressing violent anger, maintain composure or poise. For example, Billy has to learn to hold his temper when he's frustrated, or If the chairman can keep his temper, the matter will get settled. [c. 1700] For an antonym, see lose one's temper.
lose one's temper
Also, lose it. Give way to violent anger, lose self-control. For example, When she found out what Ann had done, she lost her temper, or He arrived without that important check, and then I just lost it completely. The first term dates from the early 1800s; the second slangy locution dates from the mid-1900s.