melancholy
Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /ˈmelənkəli/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈmɛl.ənˌkɑl.i/
Adjective

melancholy

  1. (literary) Affected with great sadness or depression.
    Melancholy people don't talk much.
Synonyms Noun

melancholy

  1. (historical) Black bile, formerly thought to be one of the four "cardinal humours" of animal bodies.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
      , Bk.I, New York 2001, p.148:
      Melancholy, cold and dry, thick, black, and sour, […] is a bridle to the other two hot humours, blood and choler, preserving them in the blood, and nourishing the bones.
  2. Great sadness or depression, especially of a thoughtful or introspective nature.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, V. i. 34:
      My mind was troubled with deep melancholy.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act IV, Scene 1,
      I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician’s, which is fantastical; nor the courtier’s, which is proud; nor the soldier’s, which is ambitious; nor the lawyer’s, which is politic; nor the lady’s, which is nice; nor the lover’s, which is all these; but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels; in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
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