temper (something) with (something)

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temper (something) with (something)

1. To harden or strengthen some material through the application of something. The blacksmith tempers the metal with extreme heat followed by a quenching in cold water to make the blades incredibly hard. Our screen protectors are made of glass that has been tempered with a proprietary blend of chemicals.
2. To bring something to the desired physical condition by blending or admixing with something else. We temper the paint with oil to make it water resistant. The artist revealed that she tempers her clay with mica to achieve the unique sparkle in her pottery.
3. To use something make something else less intense, extreme, or severe; to moderate something with something else. We've got to temper investors' expectations with realistic projections of our growth potential. We tried to temper the news that their grandmother had passed away with a trip to an ice cream parlor.
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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