The longitudinal and transverse wave velocities of polycrystalline MgO were successfully measured simultaneously and five types of elastic moduli, the Debye temperature, and the Grüneisen parameter were evaluated as functions of temperature from 298 to 1764 K. An aluminum foil was used as a couplant between the MgO specimen and waveguide. Both acoustic waves were successfully propagated into the specimen through the solid and liquid aluminum layers. In particular, no influence of melted aluminum foil on the acoustic wave velocities was observed. With increasing temperature, the Young's, shear, and bulk moduli decreased monotonically and the Grüneisen parameter and Poisson's ratio increased monotonically, which indicated a decrease in the ionic bonding strength. The Debye temperature decreased almost linearly with increasing temperature, which showed the effect of thermal expansion. Although previous investigators concluded that the Grüneisen parameter was almost independent of temperature, our data showed an obvious gradual increase in this parameter with temperature. In addition, our results implied the possibility of an abrupt increase in the Grüneisen parameter at temperatures less than 400 K. The slope of the Lamé parameter–temperature plot was almost zero over the entire investigated temperature range. On the basis of three-dimensional volume-nonpreserving shear, this behavior was interpreted as being caused by interlocking associated with the network of short Mg–O bonds.