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1. Sadness or depression of the spirits; gloom.
2. Pensive reflection or contemplation.
a. Black bile.
b. An emotional state characterized by sullenness and outbreaks of violent anger, believed to arise from an excess of black bile.
1. Feeling, showing, or expressing depression of the spirits; sad or dejected. See Synonyms at sad.
2. Causing or tending to cause sadness or gloom: a letter with some melancholy news.
3. Pensive; thoughtful.
[Middle English malencolie, melancolie, from Old French, from Late Latin melancholia, from Greek melankholiā : melās, melan-, black + kholē, bile; see ghel- in Indo-European roots.]
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.