: marked by bad temper, malevolence, or spite
Did You Know?
In early Western physiology, a person's physical qualities and mental disposition were believed to be determined by the proportion of four bodily humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. The last of these was believed to be secreted by the spleen, causing feelings of disposition ranging from intense sadness (melancholia) to irascibility. This now-discredited association explains how the use of splenetic (deriving from the Late Latin spleneticus and the Latin splen, meaning "spleen") came to mean both "bad-tempered" and "given to melancholy" as well as "of or relating to the spleen." In later years, the "melancholy" sense fell out of use, but the sense pertaining to ill humor or malevolence remains with us today.
Drew emailed the article to Kara, warning her to avoid the splenetic comments at the bottom of the page.
"On the basis of his excoriating blog—which exposes 'lies, pretensions and stupidity in the world of food'—I had been expecting a bilious, splenetic man with wild eyes, his skin covered in tattoos. Instead, I'm sat across from a mild-mannered nerdy type with a tidy beard and black-framed spectacles." — Tim Lewis, The Guardian, 18 June 2017
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of splenetic: NAYEIRVG.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP