437. Melancholy (See also Grief.)
- Acheron river of woe in the underworld. [Gk. Myth.: Howe, 5]
- Anatomy of Melancholy lists causes, symptoms, and characteristics of melancholy. [Br. Lit.: Anatomy of Melancholy ]
- Barton, Amos beset by woes. [Br. Lit.: “Sad Fortunes of Amos Barton” in Walsh Modern, 45]
- black bile humor effecting temperament of gloominess. [Medieval Physiology: Hall, 130]
- blues melancholy, bittersweet music born among American Negroes. [Am. Music: Scholes, 113]
- Cargill, Rev. Josiah serious, moody, melancholic minister. [Br. Lit.: St. Ronan’s Well ]
- Carstone, Richard driven to gloom by collapse of expectations. [Br. Lit.: Bleak House ]
- cave of Trophonius oracle so awe-inspiring, consulters never smiled again. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 1103]
- Eeyore amusingly gloomy, morose donkey. [Children’s Lit.: Winnie-the-Pooh ]
- Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard meditative poem of a melancholy mood. [Br. Lit.: Harvey, 266]
- Ellis Island immigration center where many families were separated; “isle of tears.” [Am. Hist.: Flexner, 193]
- Gummidge, Mrs. “lone lorn creetur” with melancholy disposition. [Br. Lit.: David Copperfield ]
- Hamlet black mood dominates his consciousness. [Brit. Lit.: Shakespeare Hamlet ]
- hare flesh brings melancholy to those who eat it. [Animal Symbolism: Mercatante, 125]
- Il Penseroso poem celebrating the pleasures of melancholy and solitude. [Br. Lit.: Milton Il Penseroso in Magill IV, 577]
- Jaques “can suck melancholy out of a song.” [Br. Lit.: As You Like It ]
- Mock Turtle forever weeping and bemoaning his fate. [Br. Lit.: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ]
- Mudville no joy here when Casey struck out. [Am. Sports Lit.: “Casey at the Bat” in Turlin, 642]
- Orpheus composed, sang many melancholic songs in memory of deceased Eurydice. [Gk. Myth.: Orpheus and Eurydice, Magill I, 700–701]
- Roquentin, Antoine discomfited by his existence’s purposelessness, solitarily despairs. [Fr. Lit.: Nausea ]
- Sad Sack hapless and helpless soldier; resigned to his fate. [Comics: Horn, 595–596]
- Valley of the Shadow of Death life’s gloominess. [O.T.: Psalms 23:4]
- Wednesday’s child full of woe. [Nurs. Rhyme: Opie, 309]
- yew tree symbolizes grief. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 178]
mel·an·chol·y / ˈmelənˌkälē/ • n. a deep, pensive, and long-lasting sadness. ∎ another term for melancholia (as a mental condition). ∎ hist. another term for black bile. • adj. sad, gloomy, or depressed: she felt a little melancholy the dog has a melancholy expression. ∎ causing or expressing sadness; depressing: the study makes melancholy if instructive reading. DERIVATIVES: mel·an·chol·ic / ˌmelənˈkälik/ adj. mel·an·chol·i·cal·ly / ˌmelənˈkälək(ə)lē/ adv. ORIGIN: Middle English: from Old French melancolie, via late Latin from Greek melankholia, from melas, melan- ‘black’ + kholē ‘bile,’ an excess of which was formerly believed to cause depression.
See also 28. ATTITUDES ; 279. MOODS
- an abnormal tendency toward deep melancholy.
- a condition of abnormal gloom or depression, of ten of an intensity to become a form of insanity. —melancholiac , n., adj. —melancholie , n., adj.
- 1. black bile, one of the four bodily humors, formerly believed to be the cause of gloom, ill temper, and depression.
- 2. melancholia.
- 3. a pensive, contemplative mood.
- 4. Obsolete, ill temper. —melancholiac , n., adj. —melancholie , n., adj.
So melancholic, melancholious XIV. Both adjs. were gen. superseded by an adj. use of the sb. (XVI), the termination of which suggests an adj. formation.