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[mel-uh n-kol-ee] /ˈmɛl ənˌkɒl i/

noun, plural melancholies.
a gloomy state of mind, especially when habitual or prolonged; depression.
sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.

affected with, characterized by, or showing melancholy; mournful; depressed:
a melancholy mood.
causing melancholy or sadness; saddening:
a melancholy occasion.
soberly thoughtful; pensive.
noun (pl) -cholies
a constitutional tendency to gloominess or depression
a sad thoughtful state of mind; pensiveness

characterized by, causing, or expressing sadness, dejection, etc

c.1300, “condition characterized by sullenness, gloom, irritability,” from Old French melancolie “black bile, ill disposition, anger, annoyance” (13c.), from Late Latin melancholia, from Greek melankholia “sadness,” literally (excess of) “black bile,” from melas (genitive melanos) “black” (see melanin) + khole “bile” (see Chloe). Medieval physiology attributed depression to excess of “black bile,” a secretion of the spleen and one of the body’s four “humors.”

The Latin word also is the source of Spanish melancolia, Italian melancolia, German Melancholie, Danish melankoli, etc. Old French variant malencolie (also in Middle English) is by false association with mal “sickness.”

late 14c., “with or caused by black bile; sullen, gloomy, sad,” from melancholy (n.); sense of “deplorable” (of a fact or state of things) is from 1710.

melancholy mel·an·chol·y (měl’ən-kŏl’ē)


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