the bleakness of winter sometimes gives me cause for melancholyAdjectiveA melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realization that you can't make old friends.—Christopher Hitchens, Harper's, June 1999He has a snarled mop of spiky black hair, melancholy circles around his eyes, and a tiny Cupid's-bow mouth.—Pauline Kael, New Yorker, 17 Dec. 1990I 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 Austen, letter, 24 Oct. 1808
She was in a melancholy mood.
He became quiet and melancholy as the hours slowly passed. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
This squabbling can be fun, but there’s an underlying melancholy because the breakups were often precipitated by illness or death.—Sibbie O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2023 The owner of the palazzo, a grieving opera soprano named Rowena Drake (Kelly Reilly, a master of melancholy), has invited a famous medium, Mrs. Joyce Reynolds (an entrancing Michelle Yeoh) to perform a séance.—Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 The end of a film festival always fills me with an equal sense of relief and melancholy.—Odie Henderson, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Sep. 2023 Trending Taylor Swift Makes History at 2023 VMAs MTV VMAs 2023: See the Complete Winners List
In the end, he’s left sitting on a swing set, wallowing in his melancholy.—Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 13 Sep. 2023 And a two-song tribute to Jimmy Buffett performed later in the show triggered heart-wilting melancholy.—Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 9 Sep. 2023 So, consider that intense melancholy a passenger on this final trip around the Pac-12 sun.—Bill Oram, oregonlive, 1 Sep. 2023 Yes, the tropical sound is as noticeable as a sunburn and the living-for-the-moment messaging is bold like a T-shirt slogan, but that extra layer of depth, introspection, and melancholy is often absent.—Joseph Hudak, Rolling Stone, 3 Sep. 2023 An immediate hit upon its release in 1977, the song encapsulated his mellow charms, laced with a hint of melancholy.—Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2023
The good ol’ days are spoken of often, usually with more melancholy than fondness.—Michael Nordine, Variety, 23 Sep. 2023 The rich vein of melancholy regret running through Out of Season (Hors-Saison) at times risks tipping over into kitschy nostalgia, with its Lelouch-like intimacy playing out on a wintry seashore to the strains of a wispy, sentimental score.—David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Sep. 2023 Released July 12, the melancholy pop-rock song debuts at No. 13 on Hot Alternative Songs, No. 25 on Hot Rock Songs, and No. 32 on Hot Rock & Alternative Songs with 2.8 million U.S. streams earned in the latest tracking week.—Xander Zellner, Billboard, 7 Sep. 2023 Here, Hamlet is a melancholy suburban prince named Juicy, in a Black family rocked by betrayal and fratricide and ghosts who pop out of backyard grills.—Peter Marks, Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2023 However, by the second movement, Kavakos’s violin keened a melancholy, aria-esque melody in iridescent threads of sound, answered in turn by a cool flute.—Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 21 Aug. 2023 Both of their sessions were melancholy, in stark contrast to the upbeat mood in the Dodgers’ clubhouse down the hall.—Brian Dulik, BostonGlobe.com, 23 Aug. 2023 But as melancholy as that sounds, there’s plenty of new stuff on the horizon, too, including everything from a new take on (part of) Dracula and an ambitious miniseries about the opioid crisis.—Keith Phipps, Rolling Stone, 1 Aug. 2023 The melancholy romantic drama features Greta Lee as a woman observed at three points in time, with Teo Yoo and John Magaro as the men whose fates are tethered to hers across two continents.—David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 June 2023 See More
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Middle English malencolie, melancolie "black bile, preponderance or excess of black bile, state (as anger or sorrow) produced by excessive black bile," borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French malencolie, melencolie, borrowed from Late Latin melancholia (Medieval Latin malencolia, by association with the prefix mal-mal-), borrowed from Greek melancholía, from melan-, athematic variant of melano-melano- + cholḗ "bile" + -ia-ia entry 1 — more at gall entry 1
Middle English malincolie, melancolie, from attributive use of malencoliemelancholy entry 1, probably reinforced by construal of -ly as an adjective suffix
Middle English malencolie "melancholy," from early French melancolie (same meaning), from Latin melancholia (same meaning), from Greek melancholia "melancholy," literally, "black bile," from melan-, melas "black" and cholē "bile"; so called from the ancient belief that the condition was caused by an excess of what was thought to be black bile in the body — related to choleric, melanin see Word History at humor