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gloomy; morose; melancholy; morbid.
irritable; bad-tempered; splenetic.
Historical Examples

An atrabilious monk in his garret vented his spleen with more than usual acrimony, and the world applauded.
Renaissance in Italy: Italian Literature John Addington Symonds

Much dining-out doth breed dyspepsia, and atrabilious views are apt to be a leetle lop-sided.
Punch, or the London Charivari Volume 98, January 4, 1890 Various

The article came to us just as we were laboring under an attack of dyspepsia, and its reading fairly shook our atrabilious corpus.
Scientific American, Volume XXIV., No. 12, March 18, 1871 Various

The melancholy or atrabilious temperament is of a different character.
Curiosities of Medical Experience J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen

His appreciation of men, their character, their talents, their designs—all bear the hue of the atrabilious journalist.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 347, September, 1844 Various

He now sees what a regard they have for the health of the atrabilious South Americans.
Memoirs of Service Afloat, During the War Between the States Raphael Semmes

I hold them to be a race of pessimists, recruited amongst beggarly philosophers and knavish, atrabilious theologians.
The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

Mrs. Croaker, the very reverse of her grumbling, atrabilious husband.
Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

Ariosto is playful, Aretino scurrilous, Alamanni peevish, Folengo atrabilious.
Renaissance in Italy: Italian Literature John Addington Symonds

Foreigners and long-haired æsthetes were one and the same thing to my atrabilious instructor.
Personality in Literature Rolfe Arnold Scott-James

(rare) irritable

1650s, from Latin atra bilis, translating Greek melankholia “black bile” (see melancholy; also cf. bile). Atra is fem. of ater “black, dark, gloomy,” perhaps related to root of atrocity. Related: Atrabiliousness.


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