I think I've read something in the structure of "he is [adj] [prep] humanly temper", but I can't remember the exact words for someone who should be just but instead let the temper got the better of them. Kind of like Greek gods who get carried away by little things just like a real life human being. Is there really some phrase like this?

  • The nearest I can think of is something like He is of a humane temperament. But as it stands I think this question is simply too vague to be useful. Sep 24, 2015 at 17:27
  • Someone who does not get upset easily is described as 'even-tempered'. Not sure if that's what you're looking for. Sep 24, 2015 at 17:29
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    Can you put just a little more context in this question? There are a number of ways this can be expressed, so we need a little more info to give you the answer you want without having to make big guesses. Sep 24, 2015 at 17:48
  • @MichaelDorgan I edited the question!
    – arax
    Sep 25, 2015 at 12:51
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    Well, my understanding is everybody normally makes decisions and judgments on the basis of emotions (then we use logic/morality afterwards, to justify ourselves). So we're more likely to need terms like @MrTheWalrus's "even-tempered" to describe the less common case of someone who doesn't allow emotions to "cloud/influence his judgment". If someone is excessively prone to being influenced by their emotions, perhaps capricious, mercurial might do, but most such words refer to unpredictable behaviour rather than specifically "emotion-based" reactions. Sep 25, 2015 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


My humble suggestion is

He lets emotions get the better of him.

Or maybe

He fails to walk the line.

One of the definitions for "walk the line", per Wiktionary, is

(idiomatic) To behave in an authorized or socially accepted manner, especially as prescribed by law or morality; to exercise self-control.

"Walk the line" and "toe the line" are idioms more appropriate when describing a person in a subordinate position, or trying to conform to other people's wishes and/or expectations.

"Get the better of" could be more appropriate if your goal is to describe, say, a high judge in a country with powerful and independent judiciary. He wants to be impartial out of considerations of honor etc., but sometimes emotions get the better of him. After all, he is a human being.

Another one:

He fails to keep his emotions in check.


He is driven by human passions and beset with human frailties.


In English, we don't have a phrase for people being too emotional for their position. The closest I can think of is something like "they're very sad for being a clown," or something of that sort where the person's emotions do not seem to match what you would expect from their work.

However, for someone who gets angry easily you could say they are "hot tempered" or "hot headed." If they are just very emotional, you can call them "overemotional," but this is regarded as an insult.

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