Definition of temperance movement in English:

temperance movement


  • A movement seeking restrictions on the consumption of alcohol.

    • ‘She also became active in the women's suffrage movement and the temperance movement.’
    • ‘Helped by the rise of the temperance movement, which actively promoted it as an alternative to alcohol, tea started to be drunk morning, noon and night.’
    • ‘Spending on drink usually competed not only with the demands of family, house, and home for a share of the family wage, but also with the propaganda of a temperance movement which preached the evils of alcohol.’
    • ‘Anti-alcohol initiatives have revived the spirit of the temperance movement. Of course, there are dangers to excessive alcohol consumption.’
    • ‘Towards the end of the 19th Century, the Methodist Church joined the temperance movement to set a good example against widespread drinking problems in the society of the day.’

Temperance movements appeared in the early 19th century, spreading across Europe and the US from Northern Ireland and New England, and led by Christian groups, trade unionists, and advocates of women's suffrage. In the US a lengthy campaign by groups such as the Anti-Saloon League (founded 1893) led to Prohibition in 1920, while in the UK the Defence of the Realm Act (1916) limited the hours that public houses could open and excluded people under eighteen