melancholy


melancholy
{{11}}melancholy (adj.) late 14c., "with or caused by black bile; sullen, gloomy, sad," from MELANCHOLY (Cf. melancholy) (n.); sense of "deplorable" (of a fact or state of things) is from 1710.
{{12}}melancholy (n.) c.1300, "condition characterized by sullenness, gloom, irritability," from O.Fr. melancolie "black bile, ill disposition, anger, annoyance" (13c.), from L.L. melancholia, from Gk. melankholia "sadness," lit. (excess of) "black bile," from melas (gen. melanos) "black" (see MELANIN (Cf. melanin)) + khole "bile" (see CHLOE (Cf. Chloe)). Medieval physiology attributed depression to excess of "black bile," a secretion of the spleen and one of the body's four "humors."
The Latin word also is the source of Sp. melancolia, It. melancolia, Ger. Melancholie, Dan. melankoli, etc. Old French variant malencolie (also in Middle English) is by false association with mal "sickness."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • melancholy# — melancholy n *sadness, melancholia, dejection, gloom, depression, blues, dumps Analogous words: miserableness or misery, wretchedness (see corresponding adjectives at MISERABLE): despondency, despair, hopelessness, forlornness, desperation (see… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Melancholy — Mel an*chol*y, a. 1. Depressed in spirits; dejected; gloomy dismal. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Producing great evil and grief; causing dejection; calamitous; afflictive; as, a melancholy event. [1913 Webster] 3. Somewhat deranged in mind; having the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Melancholy — Mel an*chol*y, n. [OE. melancolie, F. m[ e]lancolie, L. melancholia, fr. Gr. ?; me las, me lanos, black + ? gall, bile. See {Malice}, and 1st {Gall}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Depression of spirits; a gloomy state continuing a considerable time; deep… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • melancholy — [adj] depressed, sad blue*, dejected, despondent, destroyed, disconsolate, dismal, dispirited, doleful, dolorous, down*, down and out*, downbeat, downcast, downhearted, down in the dumps*, down in the mouth*, dragged, droopy, funereal, gloomy,… …   New thesaurus

  • melancholy — [mel′ən käl΄ē] n. pl. melancholies [ME malencoli < OFr melancolie < LL melancholia < Gr < melas, black (see MELANO ) + cholē, bile, gall: see YELLOW] 1. Obs. a) black bile: in medieval times considered to be one of the four humors of… …   English World dictionary

  • melancholy — index despondent, disconsolate, lamentable, lugubrious, pessimism, pessimistic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • melancholy — ► NOUN ▪ deep and long lasting sadness. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ sad or depressed. DERIVATIVES melancholic adjective. ORIGIN Greek melankholia, from melas black + khol bile , an excess of which was formerly believed to cause depression …   English terms dictionary

  • melancholy — [[t]me̱lənkɒli[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED You describe something that you see or hear as melancholy when it gives you an intense feeling of sadness. ...a painter of haunting melancholy canvases... The only sounds were the distant, melancholy cries of the …   English dictionary

  • melancholy — melancholily, adv. melancholiness, n. /mel euhn kol ee/, n., pl. melancholies, adj. n. 1. a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression. 2. sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness. 3. Archaic. a. the condition of having too much… …   Universalium

  • melancholy — 1 adjective sad or making you feel sad: a melancholy expression | the seagulls melancholy cry 2 noun (U) formal a feeling of sadness for no particular reason: They sank into a mood of deep melancholy. | the lingering melancholy of Gloomy Sunday …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English