Definition of phlegm
1 : the one of the four humors in early physiology that was considered to be cold and moist and to cause sluggishness
2 : viscid mucus secreted in abnormal quantity in the respiratory passages
3a : dull or apathetic coldness or indifferenceb : intrepid coolness or calm fortitude
phlegmyplay \ˈfle-mē\ adjective
Examples of phlegm in a Sentence
He displayed remarkable phlegm in very dangerous conditions.
a man of remarkable phlegm, never showing enthusiasm nor displeasure
Recent Examples of phlegm from the Web
You guys, mucus—snot, boogers, slime, nose goblins, phlegm—is the best.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phlegm'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of phlegm
Middle English fleume, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin phlegmat-, phlegma, from Greek, flame, inflammation, phlegm, from phlegein to burn — more at black
First Known Use: 13th century
PHLEGM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of phlegm for English Language Learners
: a thick, yellowish liquid that is produced in the nose and throat especially when a person has a cold
: calmness in a difficult or unpleasant situation
Medical Definition of phlegm
1: the one of the four humors of ancient and medieval physiology that was believed to be cold and moist and to cause sluggishness
2: viscid mucus secreted in abnormal quantity in the respiratory passages
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