- If we are as phlegmatic as we like to believe would we revel so conspicuously in our tragedy?
- However, he is a phlegmatic character, not fitting the crude European stereotype of a South American, and even in Spain they originally considered his style more North European than Mediterranean.
- Not that this is likely to perturb a phlegmatic character whose first start against Rangers feels as if it has been a long time coming, following substitute appearances in the past three derbies.
- Example sentences
- Amid all this disorganisation, this nightmare of old furniture, useless machines and discarded objects sit young people, relatively neatly dressed, phlegmatically drinking coffee from old, cracked cups.
- Other wealthy nations, including some of the oil-rich Arab nations, were no better, phlegmatically reaching for the loose change in their purses.
- I pointed out the mysterious and mildly alarming position of the bag to an usher, and he, rather phlegmatically, held on to it until the woman returned to claim it.
Middle English (in the sense 'relating to the humor phlegm'): from Old French fleumatique, via Latin from Greek phlegmatikos, from phlegma 'inflammation' (see phlegm).
According to the medieval doctrine of the four humours ( see humour) an excess of phlegm made people stolidly calm. The root of phlegm (Middle English), and so of phlegmatic, is Greek phlegma ‘inflammation’, formed from phlegein ‘to burn’. Phlegmatic had acquired the sense ‘calm and self-possessed’ by the late 16th century.
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