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melancholy

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noun mel·an·choly \ ˈme-lən-ˌkä-lē \

Definition of melancholy

plural melancholies
1 a :an abnormal state attributed to an excess of black bile and characterized by irascibility or depression
2 a :depression of spirits :dejection
  • great outbursts of creativity alternate with feelings of extreme melancholy
  • —Brenda Lane Richardson
b :a pensive mood
  • a fine romantic kind of a melancholy on the fading of the year
  • —Richard Holmes

Examples of melancholy in a Sentence

  1. the bleakness of winter sometimes gives me cause for melancholy

Recent Examples of melancholy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of melancholy

Middle English malencolie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin melancholia, from Greek, from melan- + cholē bile — more at gall


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melancholy

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adjective mel·an·choly \ ˈme-lən-ˌkä-lē \

Definition of melancholy

1 a :suggestive or expressive of sadness or depression of mind or spirit
  • sang in a melancholy voice
b :causing or tending to cause sadness or depression of mind or spirit :dismal
  • a melancholy thought
2 a :depressed in spirits :dejected, sad
b :pensive

Examples of melancholy in a Sentence

  1. A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realization that you can't make old friends. —Christopher HitchensHarper'sJune 1999
  2. He has a snarled mop of spiky black hair, melancholy circles around his eyes, and a tiny Cupid's-bow mouth. —Pauline KaelNew Yorker17 Dec. 1990
  3. I see your mournful party in my mind's eye under every varying circumstance of the day;  … the efforts to talk, the frequent summons to melancholy orders and cares, and poor Edward, restless in misery, going from one room to the other … —Jane Austenletter24 Oct. 1808
  4. She was in a melancholy mood.

  5. He became quiet and melancholy as the hours slowly passed.

Recent Examples of melancholy from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of melancholy


MELANCHOLY Defined for English Language Learners

melancholy

play
noun

Definition of melancholy for English Language Learners

  • : a sad mood or feeling


melancholy

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adjective

Definition of melancholy for English Language Learners

  • : feeling or showing sadness : very unhappy


MELANCHOLY Defined for Kids

1

melancholy

play
adjective mel·an·choly \ ˈme-lən-ˌkä-lē \

Definition of melancholy for Students

:sad 1
  • I'll be melancholy if you go.

2

melancholy

noun

Definition of melancholy for Students

:a sad or gloomy mood

Medical Dictionary

melancholy

play
noun mel·an·choly \ ˈmel-ən-ˌkäl-ē \

medical Definition of melancholy

plural melancholies
1 a :an abnormal state attributed to an excess of black bile and characterized by irascibility or depression
2 :depression or dejection of spirits

melancholy

adjective


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