Etymology
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tempered (adj.)

1650s, "brought to desired hardness" (of metals, especially steel), past-participle adjective from temper (v.). Meaning "toned down by admixture" is from 1650s; of music or musical instruments, "tuned," from 1727.

updated on January 20, 2014

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Definitions of tempered from WordNet

tempered (adj.)
made hard or flexible or resilient especially by heat treatment;
tempered glass
a sword of tempered steel
Synonyms: treated / hardened / toughened
tempered (adj.)
adjusted or attuned by adding a counterbalancing element;
criticism tempered with kindly sympathy
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.