Fever vs. Temperature: What's the Difference?
Fever is a medical condition characterized by an elevated body temperature, often due to an infection or illness; temperature is a measure of the hotness or coldness of an object or environment, expressed in degrees.
Fever and temperature are related concepts but denote different things. Fever refers to a state of having a body temperature above the normal range, often due to an underlying medical condition, infection, or inflammation. It is the body’s natural response to combat pathogens and is often accompanied by other symptoms like sweating, shivering, and feeling weak. Temperature, in contrast, is a more generalized term referring to the degree of hotness or coldness measured by a thermometer and can apply to the atmosphere, a room, or a body, serving as a basic, fundamental physical quantity.
In medical contexts, fever is typically seen as a symptom of an underlying condition and is often accompanied by other signs and symptoms, serving as an important indicator for diagnosis. A person is generally considered to have a fever when their body temperature exceeds 100.4°F (38°C). Temperature, in this context, serves as a measurement, indicating the level of heat in the body. It helps in monitoring body conditions and is crucial for maintaining homeostasis, a stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.
When discussing fever, it is important to acknowledge that it’s a common medical symptom that can result from various causes including infections, extreme weather conditions, immunizations, and other medical conditions. It is temporary and can be treated with medications like antipyretics to lower the body temperature. Temperature, however, is a universal concept utilized in various fields such as physics, chemistry, and meteorology, to assess the thermal state of different entities, indicating whether an object is hot or cold compared to a standard value, and it can be measured in various scales including Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin.
Lastly, while fever is specifically related to health and medicine, indicating a deviation from normal body temperature due to physiological responses, temperature is a broader concept, integral to various scientific calculations and daily life activities. A sound understanding of temperature is essential in multiple domains, such as cooking, weather forecasting, and manufacturing, allowing people to make informed decisions based on the thermal conditions of objects or the environment.
Elevated body temperature due to medical conditions.
Degree of hotness or coldness measured in degrees.
Context of Use
Medical, as a symptom.
Universal, used in various scientific and daily life contexts.
Measured in degrees (°F or °C).
Measured in Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin, etc.
Indicates a possible underlying illness or infection.
Indicates thermal state of an object or environment.
Medicine and healthcare.
Physics, chemistry, meteorology, and more.
Fever and Temperature Definitions
A contagious usually transient enthusiasm.
The town caught football fever.
A measure of the warmth or coldness of an object.
The temperature of the water was just right.
A rise in body temperature above the normal range.
The child had a fever after playing in the rain.
The average kinetic energy of the particles of a substance.
The temperature affects the state of matter.
An intense interest or passion.
She has a fever for learning new languages.
The level of heat maintained in the human body.
His temperature was slightly elevated.
A symptom of disease marked by increased body temperature.
High fever is common in viral infections.
The degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment.
Abnormally high body temperature.
A measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a sample of matter, expressed in terms of units or degrees designated on a standard scale.
Any of various diseases characterized by abnormally high body temperature.
The degree of heat in the body of a living organism, usually about 37.0°C (98.6°F) in humans.
A condition of heightened activity or excitement
A fever of anticipation.
An abnormally high condition of body heat caused by illness; a fever.
A contagious, usually short-lived enthusiasm or craze
A measure of cold or heat, often measurable with a thermometer.
The boiling temperature of pure water is 100 degrees Celsius.
The temperature in the room dropped nearly 20 degrees; it went from hot to cold.
The most accurate way to take your temperature is by sticking a thermometer up your butt.
To effect fever in.
An elevated body temperature, as present in fever and many illnesses.
You have a temperature. I think you should stay home today. You’re sick.
To be or become feverish.
(thermodynamics) A property of macroscopic amounts of matter that serves to gauge the average intensity of the random actual motions of the individually mobile particulate constituents. [http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0004055]
A higher than normal body temperature of a person (or, generally, a mammal), usually caused by disease.
"I have a fever. I think I've the flu."
(obsolete) The state or condition of being tempered or moderated.
Any of various diseases.
The balance of humours in the body, or one's character or outlook as considered determined from this; temperament.
A state of excitement or anxiety.
Constitution; state; degree of any quality.
The best composition and temperature is, to have openness in fame and opinion, secrecy in habit, dissimulation in seasonable use, and a power to feign, if there be no remedy.
Memory depends upon the consistence and the temperature of the brain.
(neologism) A group of stingrays.
Freedom from passion; moderation.
In that proud port, which her so goodly graceth,Most goodly temperature you may descry.
To put into a fever; to affect with fever.
A fevered lip
Condition with respect to heat or cold, especially as indicated by the sensation produced, or by the thermometer or pyrometer; degree of heat or cold; as, the temperature of the air; high temperature; low temperature; temperature of freezing or of boiling.
To become fevered.
Made a temperature of brass and iron together.
A diseased state of the system, marked by increased heat, acceleration of the pulse, and a general derangement of the functions, including usually, thirst and loss of appetite. Many diseases, of which fever is the most prominent symptom, are denominated fevers; as, typhoid fever; yellow fever.
The degree of heat of the body of a living being, esp. of the human body; also (Colloq.), loosely, the excess of this over the normal (of the human body 98°-99.5° F., in the mouth of an adult about 98.4°).
Excessive excitement of the passions in consequence of strong emotion; a condition of great excitement; as, this quarrel has set my blood in a fever.
An envious feverOf pale and bloodless emulation.
After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.
The degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment (corresponding to its molecular activity)
To put into a fever; to affect with fever; as, a fevered lip.
The white hand of a lady fever thee.
The somatic sensation of cold or heat
A rise in the temperature of the body; frequently a symptom of infection
A degree of hotness or coldness measured in degrees.
The temperature outside is below freezing.
Intense nervous anticipation;
In a fever of resentment
A specific degree of heat or cold.
The room was kept at a constant temperature.
A state of heightened activity or excitement.
Fever gripped the city during the championship game.
Can a fever be treated with medication?
Yes, a fever can often be treated with antipyretic medications to lower body temperature.
Can temperature indicate weather conditions?
Absolutely, temperature is a crucial factor in determining and forecasting weather conditions.
Does temperature affect the state of matter?
Yes, temperature affects the state of matter, influencing whether a substance is solid, liquid, or gas.
Is a fever contagious?
A fever itself is not contagious, but it can be a sign of a contagious illness or infection.
Is a fever harmful?
A fever is usually a natural defense mechanism, but very high fevers can be harmful and require medical attention.
Is a fever a medical condition?
Yes, a fever is a medical condition characterized by elevated body temperature.
What does temperature measure?
Temperature measures the degree of hotness or coldness of an object or environment.
Can a fever be a symptom of an infection?
Yes, a fever is often a symptom of an infection or another medical condition.
Is temperature always measured in degrees?
Yes, temperature is measured in degrees, but the scale can be Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvin.
Can a fever occur without an infection?
Yes, fevers can occur due to various reasons like inflammation, extreme weather conditions, or immunizations.
Is measuring temperature important in cooking?
Absolutely, measuring temperature is crucial in cooking to ensure food is cooked properly.
Does temperature influence chemical reactions?
Yes, temperature can influence the rate and outcome of chemical reactions.
Can you feel when you have a fever?
Often, individuals can feel symptoms like warmth, chills, or sweating when they have a fever.
Can temperature vary between day and night?
Yes, temperature typically varies between day and night due to the sun’s heating effect.
Does having a fever mean you are sick?
Often, but not always, as a fever can be due to non-infectious conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or certain medications.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.