complexional


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms.

com·plex·ion

 (kəm-plĕk′shən)
n.
1. The natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, especially of the face.
2. General character, aspect, or appearance: findings that will alter the complexion of the problem.
3. A viewpoint, inclination, or attitude: a conservative political complexion.
4. The combination of the four humors of cold, heat, moistness, and dryness in specific proportions, thought in ancient and medieval physiology to control the temperament and the constitution of the body.

[Middle English complexioun, physical constitution, from Old French complexion, from Late Latin complexiō, complexiōn-, balance of the humors, from Latin, combination, from complexus, past participle of complectī, to entwine; see complect.]

com·plex′ion·al adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
[T]he haze of complexional prejudice has so much obscured the vision of many persons, that they cannot see...that musical faculties, and power for their artistic development, are not in the exclusive possession of the fairer-skinned race...[T]here are some well-meaning persons who have formed, for lack of information...erroneous and unfavorable estimates of the art-capabilities of the colored race [emphasis original].
In 1849 Douglass wrote in his periodical, North Star, that the way for abolitionists to remove prejudice was "to act as though it didn't exist, and to associate with their fellow creatures irrespective of all complexional differences.
Though he was conscious of and took pride in his racial origins, in discussing the colony's racial situation in the same newspaper (on September 14, 1874), he reveals "complexional prejudice" within the island's black community: