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Please help me. I have searched all the famous dictionaries but still I can't understand when should I use it as a noun(except for political matters) and when to use it as a verb, both in place of disorder(not for painting or a disease).

Is this a common word to use nowadays except for a disease or painting?

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  • I think you mean "distemperate" or even rarer "distemperature".
    – QuentinUK
    Feb 21, 2014 at 14:18
  • Hi, I don't think so :) I was looking for distemper. Oxford dictionary has no defenition for "distemperate" and "distemperature".
    – user3214
    Feb 21, 2014 at 14:29
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    I have a hunch that many people don't use distemper for anything else beside the disease or that kind of paintings, and when they do it could cause confusions. I found an interesting discussion that mentioned cat's distemper here: thecatsite.com/t/93735/a-distemper-shot-for-a-bad-temper Feb 21, 2014 at 14:43
  • @DamkerngT. Thank you very much. I agree with you. I searched "The Telegraph"s website and I must say 99 per cent of results was either about disease or painting.
    – user3214
    Feb 21, 2014 at 14:54
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    That would be an understatement! In general, I doubt that even 0.001% of all instances in recent decades would be for OED's definition 5: Derangement, disturbance, or disorder (esp. in a state or body politic) Feb 22, 2014 at 17:06

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Maybe I am just not well-read enough, but at least in spoken English (I am a native of the US) I am only aware of distemper being used to refer to the disease affecting dogs.

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Disorder is used to describe an illness or condition that affects function(s) of the mind or body (e.g. Anxiety Disorder), whereas distemper refers to a canine illness (e.g. Canine Distemper).

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