Definition of melancholy in English:

melancholy

Line breaks: mel¦an|choly
Pronunciation: /ˈmɛlənkəli
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • 1A feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause: an air of melancholy surrounded him he had an ability to convey a sense of deep melancholy and yearning through much of his work at the centre of his music lies a profound melancholy and nostalgia
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    Synonyms
  • 1.1 another term for melancholia (as a mental condition).
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 1.2 historical another term for black bile.
    More example sentences
    • 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.

adjective

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Derivatives

melancholic

Pronunciation: /-ˈkɒlɪk/
adjective
More example sentences
  • You could get melancholic and unhappy if there is discord in the family or a misunderstanding between friends.
  • A lot of writers are depressive - I tend more towards anxious and melancholic.
  • In a way despite the seasonal cheerfulness, Christmas is quintessentially a moody and melancholic time.

melancholically

Pronunciation: /-ˈkɒlɪk(ə)li/
adverb
More example sentences
  • Her room, which normally looks as if it has been burgled, is empty, incongruously, melancholically tidy, save for a few carrier bags of clothes borrowed from friends.
  • Handfuls of other gymnasts from Mika's team clapped him on the back as he ambled melancholically towards his black nylon bag, pulling on a maroon jacket and waiting in his usual quiet, brooding manner for the scores to be announced.
  • ‘No, maybe later,’ Caleb sighed melancholically, looking thoroughly defeated.

Origin

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.

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Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: məˈlôrd
noun
used to address an English nobleman