atrabilious

adjective
at·ra·bil·ious | \ˌa-trə-ˈbil-yəs \

Definition of atrabilious 

1 : given to or marked by melancholy : gloomy

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from atrabilious

atrabiliousness noun

Did You Know?

Atrabilious is a somewhat rare word with a history that parallels that of the more common "melancholy." Representing one of the four bodily humors, from which it was once believed that human emotions originated, atrabilious derives from the Latin atra bilis, literally meaning "black bile." The word melancholy derives from the Greek melan- and chole, which also translates as "black bile." In its original sense, atrabilious meant "melancholy," but now it is more frequently used to describe someone with an irritable or unfriendly temperament. A word with a meaning similar to that of "atrabilious" is "splenetic," which is named after the organ in the body (the spleen) once thought to secrete black bile.

First Known Use of atrabilious

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for atrabilious

Latin atra bilis black bile

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about atrabilious

Share atrabilious

Listen to Our Podcast about atrabilious

Statistics for atrabilious

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for atrabilious

The first known use of atrabilious was in 1651

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on atrabilious

See words that rhyme with atrabilious

Comments on atrabilious

What made you want to look up atrabilious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!