Meaning of “temporary” in the English Dictionary

"temporary" in British English

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uk /ˈtem.pər.ər.i/ /ˈtem.prər.i/ us /ˈtem.pə.rer.i/

B1 not lasting or needed for very long:

The ceasefire will only provide a temporary solution to the crisis.
temporary staff

More examples

  • The salaries of temporary employees ought to be brought into line with those of permanent staff.
  • Don't worry, his depression is only temporary - it'll soon pass.
  • She has managed to obtain a temporary residence permit.
  • The injection provided a temporary reprieve from the pain.
  • I rigged up a temporary radio aerial from a coat hanger.
adverb uk /ˈtem.pəəl.i/ /ˈtem.prər.əl.i/ us /ˈtem.pə.rer.əl.i/


  • The lecturer temporarily digressed from her subject to deal with a related theory.
  • His famed calmness temporarily deserted him.
  • He's temporarily laid aside some quite interesting projects to write the script.
  • We might have to employ someone temporarily as a stopgap measure until we can fill the post.


This office is closed temporarily for redecoration.

(Definition of “temporary” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"temporary" in American English

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temporaryadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈtem·pəˌrer·i/

not lasting or permanent:

a temporary condition
a temporary contract
adverb [ not gradable ] us /ˌtem·pəˈrer·ə·li/

The player was temporarily suspended from the tournament.

(Definition of “temporary” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"temporary" in Business English

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uk /ˈtempərəri/ us

not lasting or needed for a long time:

Renting space in another office building is only a temporary measure.

a temporary job or contract lasts only for a short period of time:

According to the report, over 6% of the labour force are working on a temporary basis.
temporary jobs/contracts/work

a temporary worker is employed only for a short period of time:

The temporary team will be looking to resolve conflicts among relevant executives.
temporary workers/staff

(Definition of “temporary” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)