Definition of melancholy in English:
- But the cloud of depression, of a deep sadness and melancholy, hung over our home.
- He had abandoned that deep melancholy and sadness, and he felt himself much lighter and unencumbered.
- A morose mood of deep melancholy has descended upon me this afternoon.
- The psychologists remind us that hopelessness is the seedbed of melancholy and destructiveness.
- A list of patients admitted during the hospital's first years shows that reasons for admission included hysterick disorders, bloody flux, tertian ague, and melancholy.
- And she's just encountered the old blood groupings, the four humours: sanguine, choler, phlegm, melancholy.
- Sanguine relates to air, choleric to fire, melancholy to earth and phlegmatic to water.
- By the sixteenth century hypochondria had become an aspect of melancholy and was associated especially with the humour of black bile and with the spleen, the organ that was supposed to clear black bile from the body.
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- But in spite of his melancholy bearing and despondent expression, there were few who could say that they had ever seen a man of more distinguished presence.
- Now she couldn't look back and remember those times without forcing back tears, or battling a melancholy wave of sadness.
- Their melancholy expressions are at odds with the theatrical gaiety of their attire.
- She hung up while Eden still held on, listening to the melancholy sound of the dial tone.
- Sweetened by distance, the melancholy tones of a shepherd's bagpipe drifted on the breeze.
- The Slave Dancer is written through Jessie's eyes, and projects a depressing, melancholy mood.
Middle English: from Old French melancolie, via late Latin from Greek melankholia, from melas, melan- 'black' + kholē 'bile', an excess of which was formerly believed to cause depression.
According to the medieval theory of the four humours ( see humour), melancholy or black bile caused depression. The word goes back to Greek melankholia, from melas ‘black’ (source of mid 19th-century melanin and melanoma) and kholē ‘bile’ (source of cholera (Late Middle English), choleric (Middle English), and cholesterol (late 19th century)). Today it tends to refer to a pensive or moody sadness rather than deep depression.
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