melancholia

play
noun mel·an·cho·lia \ˌme-lən-ˈkō-lē-ə\

Definition of melancholia

  1. :  a mental condition and especially a manic-depressive condition characterized by extreme depression, bodily complaints, and often hallucinations and delusions

melancholiac

play \-lē-ˌak\ noun

Did You Know?

Melancholia traces back to Greek melan _ ("black, dark") and _cholē ("bile"). Medical practitioners once adhered to the system of humors-bodily fluids that included black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. An imbalance of these humors was thought to lead to disorders of the mind and body. One suffering from an excess of black bile (believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen) could become sullen and unsociable-liable to anger, irritability, brooding, and depression. Today, doctors no longer ascribe physical and mental disorders to disruptions of the four humors, but the word melancholia is still used in psychiatry (it is identified a "subtype" of clinical depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and as a general term for despondency.

Origin and Etymology of melancholia

New Latin, from Late Latin, melancholy


First Known Use: 1607


MELANCHOLIA Defined for English Language Learners

melancholia

play
noun mel·an·cho·lia \ˌme-lən-ˈkō-lē-ə\

Definition of melancholia for English Language Learners

  • : a feeling of sadness and depression


Medical Dictionary

melancholia

play
noun mel·an·cho·lia \ˌmel-ən-ˈkō-lē-ə\

Medical Definition of melancholia

  1. :  a mental condition and especially a manic-depressive condition characterized by extreme depression, psychomotor agitation, and often hallucinations and delusions



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