mel·an·chol·ic | \ˌme-lən-ˈkä-lik \

Definition of melancholic 

1 : of, relating to, or subject to melancholy : depressed

2 : of or relating to melancholia

3 : tending to depress the spirits : saddening

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Other Words from melancholic

melancholic noun

Examples of melancholic in a Sentence

she becomes quite melancholic when she reflects on all the lost opportunities of her life

Recent Examples on the Web

These patients tended to be pessimistic, resigned, worried and withdrawn, the researchers noted, like Eeyore, the melancholic gray donkey from Winnie-the-Pooh. Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, "Are You a ‘Type D’ Athlete? Relax and Ask for Help," 23 May 2018 But what makes this exhibition so intriguing is not the sublime but a counter-sublime, turning us away from landscape and toward a melancholic message sounded within it, implicated by figures seen, human and animal: the Indian and the bison. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West’ Review: Where the Sublime Joins the Melancholy," 25 June 2018 His volumes of poetry and prose are crass and melancholic, vengeful eulogies for a nation on fire. Linda Kinstler, Longreads, "Angrily Experiencing the Best Days of Our Lives," 27 June 2018 These accompanying objects lend the composition a mildly melancholic sense of mortality. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "From the studio to the gallery," 8 June 2018 Lee, who was accidently shot and killed on the set of the film in 1993, played the central role of Eric Draven with a melancholic vigor that hit home with audiences. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'The Crow' Should Not Fly Again," 31 May 2018 The effect is rather like stumbling across the Serpent Column late at night after carousing in Istanbul’s 21st-century nightclubs: a melancholic sense of historical vertigo. Lawrence Osborne, New York Times, "A City Where East Meets West and the Past Is Always Present," 4 Jan. 2018 The movie’s climax scratches at something close to melancholic grandeur, featuring a visual effect that’s Biblical in both its force and its delicacy. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Avengers: Infinity War Checks All the Boxes. That's Exactly What's Wrong With It," 24 Apr. 2018 Places of entertainment shut down and TV and radio stations air war stories and melancholic music. Fox News, "Israel, marking annual Memorial Day, comes to a standstill," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'melancholic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of melancholic

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of melancholic was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for melancholic



English Language Learners Definition of melancholic

: very sad


mel·an·chol·ic | \ˌmel-ən-ˈkäl-ik \

Medical Definition of melancholic 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or subject to melancholy : depressed

2 : of or relating to melancholia



Medical Definition of melancholic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a melancholy person

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Comments on melancholic

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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