Found 2 items, similar to equal temperament.
English → English
Definition: equal temperament
n : the division of the scale based on an octave that is divided
into twelve exactly equal semitones; “equal temperament
is the system commonly used in keyboard instruments”
English → English
Definition: Equal temperament
, n. [L. temperamentum a mixing in
due proportion, proper measure, temperament: cf. F.
temp['e]rament. See Temper
, v. t.]
1. Internal constitution; state with respect to the relative
proportion of different qualities, or constituent parts.
The common law . . . has reduced the kingdom to its
just state and temperament. --Sir M. Hale.
2. Due mixture of qualities; a condition brought about by
mutual compromises or concessions. [Obs.]
However, I forejudge not any probable expedient, any
temperament that can be found in things of this
nature, so disputable on their side. --Milton.
3. The act of tempering or modifying; adjustment, as of
clashing rules, interests, passions, or the like; also,
the means by which such adjustment is effected.
Wholesome temperaments of the rashness of popular
assemblies. --Sir J.
4. Condition with regard to heat or cold; temperature. [Obs.]
Bodies are denominated “hot”
proportion to the present temperament of that part
of our body to which they are applied. --Locke.
5. (Mus.) A system of compromises in the tuning of organs,
pianofortes, and the like, whereby the tones generated
with the vibrations of a ground tone are mutually modified
and in part canceled, until their number reduced to the
actual practicable scale of twelve tones to the octave.
This scale, although in so far artificial, is yet closely
suggestive of its origin in nature, and this system of
tuning, although not mathematically true, yet satisfies
the ear, while it has the convenience that the same twelve
fixed tones answer for every key or scale, C[sharp]
becoming identical with D[flat], and so on.
6. (Physiol.) The peculiar physical and mental character of
an individual, in olden times erroneously supposed to be
due to individual variation in the relations and
proportions of the constituent parts of the body,
especially of the fluids, as the bile, blood, lymph, etc.
Hence the phrases, bilious or choleric temperament,
sanguine temperament, etc., implying a predominance of one
of these fluids and a corresponding influence on the
(Mus.), that in which the variations from
mathematically true pitch are distributed among all the
(Mus.), that in which the variations
are thrown into the keys least used.
, a. [L. aequalis, fr. aequus even, equal; akin to
Skr. ?ka, and perh. to L. unus for older oinos one, E. one.]
1. Agreeing in quantity, size, quality, degree, value, etc.;
having the same magnitude, the same value, the same
degree, etc.; -- applied to number, degree, quantity, and
intensity, and to any subject which admits of them;
neither inferior nor superior, greater nor less, better
nor worse; corresponding; alike; as, equal quantities of
land, water, etc.; houses of equal size; persons of equal
stature or talents; commodities of equal value.
2. Bearing a suitable relation; of just proportion; having
competent power, abilities, or means; adequate; as, he is
not equal to the task.
The Scots trusted not their own numbers as equal to
fight with the English. --Clarendon.
It is not permitted to me to make my commendations
equal to your merit. --Dryden.
Whose voice an equal messenger
Conveyed thy meaning mild. --Emerson.
3. Not variable; equable; uniform; even; as, an equal
movement. “An equal temper.”
4. Evenly balanced; not unduly inclining to either side;
characterized by fairness; unbiased; impartial; equitable;
Are not my ways equal? --Ezek. xviii.
Thee, O Jove, no equal judge I deem. --Spenser.
Nor think it equal to answer deliberate reason with
sudden heat and noise. --Milton.
5. Of the same interest or concern; indifferent.
They who are not disposed to receive them may let
them alone or reject them; it is equal to me.
6. (Mus.) Intended for voices of one kind only, either all
male or all female; -- opposed to mixed
7. (Math.) Exactly agreeing with respect to quantity.
. (Mus.) See Temperament
Syn: Even; equable; uniform; adequate; proportionate;
commensurate; fair; just; equitable.