Equivalent to restraint or moderation; but it is commonly used for moderation in certain strong appetites which are concerned with the preservation of the individual or of the race, such as eating, drinking, and generation. Modesty, chastity, sobriety, and similar virtues come under the head of temperance.

Among us, the word temperance is still further restricted to mean moderation in the use of intoxicants, and sometimes, but incorrectly, it is taken to mean total abstinence from these. The Catholic Church teaches that the use of wine is, in itself, perfectly lawful. At the same time, the Church holds that drunkenness is a mortal sin. Hence, all her children are bound at least to be temperate.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “temperance”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 November 2019. Web. 2 March 2021. <>