• (British) IPA: /ˈkɒl(ə)ɹɪk/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈkɑlɝɪk/, /kəˈlɛɹɪk/
  • (New Zealand) IPA: /ˈkɔl(ɘ)ɹɘk/, /kɘˈliɘɹɘk/


  1. (according to theories of the four humours or temperaments) Having a temperament characterized by an excess of choler; easily becoming angry.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, “Of Travel,” in Essays,
      And let a man beware, how he keepeth company with choleric and quarrelsome persons; for they will engage him into their own quarrels.
    • 1640, George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, etc., in The Remains of that Sweet Singer of the Temple George Herbert, London: Pickering, 1841, p. 146,
      From a choleric man withdraw a little; from him that says nothing for ever.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop, Chapter 35,
      As it was clear that he was a choleric fellow in some respects, Mr Swiveller was relieved to find him in such good humour, and, to encourage him in it, smiled himself.
    • 1936, Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind, Part I, Chapter 2,
      Beneath his choleric exterior Gerald O’Hara had the tenderest of hearts.
  2. Showing or expressing anger.
    • c. 1590, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, Act I, Scene 2,
      What, what, my lord! are you so choleric
      With Eleanor, for telling but her dream?
    • 1667, John Dryden, Sir Martin Mar-all, Act V, Scene 1,
      How angry the poor devil is! In fine, thou art as choleric as a cook by a fireside.
    • c. 1713, John Arbuthnot, The History of John Bull, Chapter 15,
      For God’s sake, madam, why so choleric?
  3. Of or relating to cholera (infectious disease).
    • 1833, David Craigie, “Observations, pathological and therapeutic, on the epidemic cholera, as it has prevailed in Edinburgh and its vicinity,” Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, No. 114, p. 21,
      I now proceed to enumerate those lesions and morbid changes found in the bodies of those cut off by cholera, which must have preceded the appearance of the disease, and which, existing, as they did, in very different organs, had no connection with the choleric symptoms, but nevertheless rendered the chance of recovery much less likely.
  4. (obsolete) Causing an excess of choler.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act IV, Scene 3,
      I fear it is too choleric a meat.
      How say you to a fat tripe finely broil’d?
Synonyms Related terms Translations Noun

choleric (plural cholerics)

  1. A person with a choleric temperament.
    • c. 1915, John Adams, Making the Most of One’s Mind, New York: Hodder & Stoughton, p. 21,
      The cholerics show ambition, stubbornness, love of work, courage […]
    • 1984, Tim LaHaye, Your Temperament: Discover its Potential, republished as Why You Act the Way You Do, Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House, 2012,
      No one utters more caustic comments than a sarcastic choleric!
  2. A person suffering from cholera (infectious disease).
    • 1832, Ashbel Smith, The Cholera Spasmodica, New York: P. Hill, p. 59,
      Persons laboring under pulmonary affections appear to be less liable than others, though I have found softened tubercles in some cholerics.

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