Meaning of TEMPORARY in English


1. continuing or existing for only a limited period of time

2. for a limited time only



↑ ALWAYS (6)

see also



1. continuing or existing for only a limited period of time

▷ temporary /ˈtemp ə rəri, -p ə riǁ-pəreri/ [adjective]

▪ I’m sure this is only a temporary problem.

▪ These arrangements are only intended to be temporary until an alternative is found.

▪ Temporary shelters were hastily constructed as the refugees started to pour in.

temporary job/employment

▪ I’ve got a temporary secretarial job, but I’m hoping to find something more permanent.

temporary staff/teacher/worker etc

who is temporary

▪ There are always plenty of temporary workers available during the summer months.

temporary accommodation

▪ Because of damage to their homes, many people had to stay in temporary accommodation for a few months.

▷ short-term /ˌʃɔːʳt ˈtɜːʳm◂/ [adjective usually before noun]

continuing, or intended to continue, for only a short time :

▪ Quite a lot of our staff are employed on short term contracts.

▪ The development programme was established on a short-term basis, just over a year ago.

▪ The Prime Minister emphasized the need to look to the future, rather than only considering the short-term results.

short-term memory

the ability to remember things that happened recently

▪ She can still remember things that happened fifty years ago, but her short-term memory is terrible!

short term [singular noun]

in the short term

in the near future, but perhaps not after that

▪ In the short term, interest rates are likely to remain the same.

▷ provisional /prəˈvɪʒ ə nəl/ [adjective]

a provisional arrangement is temporary and can be changed or replaced in the future :

▪ The management has made a provisional pay offer of 7%.

▪ Following a series of provisional governments, the Dominican people elected Juan Bosch as their President.

▪ I’ve made a booking at the hotel, but it’s only provisional - I’ll have to confirm it soon.

a provisional licence

British a driving licence that you have while you are learning to drive

▪ You have to get a provisional licence until you pass your test.

provisionally [adverb]

▪ Two more series of the show are provisionally planned for next year.

▷ interim /ˈɪntərɪm/ [adjective only before noun]

an interim report, measure, arrangement etc is one that is used temporarily until a final or complete one is ready :

▪ Eventually an interim agreement on arms control was reached.

▪ The actual sales figures were 20% higher than those estimated in the interim report in July.

▪ The government will announce interim measures to tackle fuel shortages.

▷ stopgap /ˈstɒpgæpǁˈstɑːp-/ [countable noun]

something that is done or used for a short time because there is an immediate need for it, but is replaced as soon as possible with something that is better - use this especially to show disapproval :

▪ The first house we bought was only a stopgap, until we could afford something we really liked.

stopgap [adjective only before noun]

stopgap measures

▪ There is a trend towards favoring stopgap measures, instead of seeking long-term solutions to socioeconomic problems.

2. for a limited time only

▷ temporarily /ˈtemp ə rərɪli, ˈtemp ə rərəliǁˌtempəˈrerə̇li/ [adverb]

▪ The library is temporarily closed for repairs.

▪ Well, I suppose she can stay here temporarily, while she’s looking for an apartment.

▷ for now/for the moment /fəʳ ˈnaʊ, fəʳ ðə ˈməʊmənt/ [adverb]

from now until a time in the future, especially when you do not know exactly when in the future :

▪ For the moment, I’m quite happy in the job I’m doing.

▪ Such popular programmes will go on being broadcast on Channel 3 - for now.

▪ ‘The negotiations are continuing for the moment,’ a spokesman said.

▷ for the time being /fəʳ ðə ˌtaɪm ˈbiːɪŋ/ [adverb]

for a short period of time from now, but not permanently :

▪ For the time being, Mrs Gilman’s classes will be taken by other teachers.

▪ Although the government aims to encourage private enterprise, around one third of the economy will remain under state control, for the time being.

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