American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


MEL'ANCHOLY, noun [Gr. black, and bile; Latin melancholia.]

1. A gloomy state of mind, often a gloomy state that is of some continuance, or habitual; depression of spirits induced by grief; dejection of spirits. This was formerly supposed to proceed from a redundance of black bile. melancholy when extreme and of long continuance, is a disease, sometimes accompanied with partial insanity. Cullen defines it, partial insanity without dyspepsy.

In nosology, mental-alienation restrained to a single object or train of ideas, in distinction from mania, in which the alienation is general.

Moon-struck madness, moping melancholy

MEL'ANCHOLY, adjective Gloomy; depressed in spirits; dejected; applied to persons. Overwhelming grief has made me melancholy

1. Dismal; gloomy; habitually dejected; as a melancholy temper.

2. Calamitous; afflictive; that may or does produce great evil and grief; as a melancholy event. The melancholy fate of the Albion! The melancholy destruction of Scio and of Missolonghi!