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 (ăt′rə-bĭl′yəs) also at·ra·bil·i·ar (-bĭl′ē-ər)
1. Inclined to melancholy.
2. Having a peevish disposition; surly.

[From Latin ātra bīlis, black bile (translation of Greek melankhōliā) : ātra, black; see āter- in Indo-European roots + bīlis, bile.]

at′ra·bil′ious·ness n.


(ˌætrəˈbɪljəs) or


rare irritable
[C17: from Latin ātra bīlis black bile, from āter black + bīlis bile1]
ˌatraˈbiliousness n


(ˌæ trəˈbɪl yəs)

also at`ra•bil′iar,

1. gloomy; morose; melancholy; morbid.
2. irritable; bad-tempered; splenetic.
[1645–55; < Latin ātra bīli(s) black bile + -ous]
at`ra•bil′ious•ness, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.atrabilious - irritable as if suffering from indigestionatrabilious - irritable as if suffering from indigestion
ill-natured - having an irritable and unpleasant disposition
References in periodicals archive ?
The predominant atrabiliousness in the exhibition is perfectly countervailed by the liberating, playful tone of the works presented by two European artists:
AS this evaluation of Johnson by Robert Potter was first published in 1789, while the earliest quotation in the OED's article on atrabiliousness dates from 1882, this is clearly a new |first usage' -- perhaps even an absolute first usage.