What does melancholy mean?

Definitions for melancholy
ˈmɛl ənˌkɒl imelan·cho·ly

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word melancholy.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. melancholynoun

    a feeling of thoughtful sadness

  2. melancholynoun

    a constitutional tendency to be gloomy and depressed

  3. black bile, melancholyadjective

    a humor that was once believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen and to cause sadness and melancholy

  4. melancholy, melancholicadjective

    characterized by or causing or expressing sadness

    "growing more melancholy every hour"; "her melancholic smile"; "we acquainted him with the melancholy truth"

  5. somber, sombre, melancholyadjective

    grave or even gloomy in character

    "solemn and mournful music"; "a suit of somber black"; "a somber mood"


  1. melancholynoun

    Black bile, formerly thought to be one of the four "cardinal humours" of animal bodies.

  2. melancholynoun

    Great sadness or depression, especially of a thoughtful or introspective nature.

  3. melancholyadjective

    Affected with great sadness or depression.

  4. Etymology: From μελαγχολία, from μέλας, μελαν- + χολή. Compare the Latin atra bilis.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Melancholynoun

    depression of spirits; a gloomy state continuing a considerable time; deep dejection; gloominess

  2. Melancholynoun

    great and continued depression of spirits, amounting to mental unsoundness; melancholia

  3. Melancholynoun

    pensive maditation; serious thoughtfulness

  4. Melancholynoun

    ill nature

  5. Melancholyadjective

    depressed in spirits; dejected; gloomy dismal

  6. Melancholyadjective

    producing great evil and grief; causing dejection; calamitous; afflictive; as, a melancholy event

  7. Melancholyadjective

    somewhat deranged in mind; having the jugment impaired

  8. Melancholyadjective

    favorable to meditation; somber

  9. Etymology: [OE. melancolie, F. mlancolie, L. melancholia, fr. Gr. ; me`las, me`lanos, black + gall, bile. See Malice, and 1st Gall.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Melancholy

    mel′an-kol-i, n. continued depression of spirits: dejection: a gloomy state of mind causing groundless fears: (Milt.) pensiveness.—adj. gloomy: producing grief.—n. Melanchō′lia, a form of insanity, in which there is continued depression or pain of mind.—adjs. Melanchol′ic, Melanchō′lious, affected with, or caused by, melancholy: dejected: mournful. [Through Fr.,—L.,—Gr. melancholiamelan, black, cholē, bile.]

Editors Contribution

  1. melancholy

    You describe something that you see or hear as melancholy when it gives you an intense feeling of sadness. If someone feels or looks melancholy, they feel or look very sad.sadness that lasts for a long period of time, often without any obvious reason.feeling or expressing sadness;a feeling of sadness and of being without hope;Sadness and unhappiness,depression,grief;A feeling or spell of dismally low spirits:blues, dejection, despondence, despondency, doldrums, dolefulness, downheartedness, dumps, dysphoria, funk, gloom, glumness, heavy-heartedness, mope (used in plural), mournfulness,unhappiness.In low spirits:blue,depressed, desolate, dispirited, down, downcast, downhearted, dull, dysphoric, gloomy, heavy-hearted, low, melancholic,spiritless, tristful, unhappy, wistful.suggestive or expressive of sadness or depression of mind or spirit; causing or tending to cause sadness or depression of mind or spirit : DISMAL; depressed in spirits : DEJECTED, SAD;blue devils,desolation, despond,disconsolateness, dispiritedness,dreariness, down in the dumps (informal), forlornness,gloominess, heartsickness, joylessness, miserableness, mopes,oppression,sorrowfulness;Idiom: down at the mouth.Tending to cause sadness or low spirits:blue, cheerless, depressing,dispiriting,joyless,down,miserable, moody,sombre, woeful, glum, mournful,despondent,lugubrious, pensive, sorrowful, disconsolate,doleful, heavy-hearted, woebegone, down in the mouth, low-spirited depression, misery,sorrow, woe, the hump (Brit. informal),low spirits,pensiveness,a gloomy state of mind, especially when habitual or prolonged;sober thoughtfulness;affected with, characterized by, or showing melancholy;depressed,causing melancholy or sadness; saddening;soberly thoughtful;Great sadness or depression, especially of a thoughtful or introspective nature.

    Somber and laconic can be eliminated right away—there are too many exclamation points for the work to be melancholy and laid back in the way those words suggest.

    Submitted by anonymous on June 14, 2020  

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How to say melancholy in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of melancholy in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of melancholy in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of melancholy in a Sentence

  1. James Russell Lowell:

    They talk about their Pilgrim blood, Their birthright high and holy A mountain-stream that ends in mud Methinks is melancholy.

  2. Anatole France:

    All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves we must die to one life before we can enter another.

  3. Juda Engelmayer:

    It's scaring him, i think he's melancholy. He's very, very low right now.

  4. Anatole France:

    All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.

  5. Thomas Jefferson:

    To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only. Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of it's benefits, than is done by it's abandoned prostitution to falsehood.

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    a noisy boisterous parade
    • A. callathump
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