(In medieval science and medicine) one of the four bodily humors, believed to be associated with a melancholy temperament. Also called melancholy.
- Our bodies were thought to be composed of blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile just as the world at large consisted of earth, air, fire, and water.
- He subscribes, at least in part, to the ancient belief that diseases are caused by an imbalance in the body's four humors: yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm.
- So if you've got an excess of black bile, you're melancholy; if there's a lot of blood running through you, you're sanguine.
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