American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Inclined to melancholy.
- adj. Having a peevish disposition; surly.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Affected as if by black bile; melancholic or hypochondriacal; splenetic. See atrabile.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Melancholic or hypochondriac; atrabiliary.
- adj. irritable as if suffering from indigestion
- From Latin ātra bīlis ("black bile"), from āter ("dark, black"), + bīlis ("bile"). Then the adjective suffix -ous ("full of") was added. (Wiktionary)
- From Latin ātra bīlis, black bile (translation of Greek melankhōliā) : ātra, black; see āter- in Indo-European roots + bīlis, bile. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“I suggest "atrabilious", from the Latin for black bile, thought by the ancients to be one of the body's four "humours".”
“No doubt the usual cavalcade of atrabilious right-wing commentators will work overtime to try and distort Obama's remarks.”
“But despite the gloomy nonsense of certain atrabilious dreamers, the wonderful era of the Greeks was that of the reign of the courtesans.”
“But after encountering some of Mr. Nate Livingston's more atrabilious rantings, I now realize that not only is it possible for people to graduate without having learned fundamental skills such as reading and writing, but that it's possible for these same people to believe that Mr. Livingston does the things he does "for the children".”
“Which makes what he said an atrabilious ranting I learned that word today HeHe.”
“Upon a more particular inquiry about the symptoms, he was told that the blood was seemingly viscous, and salt upon the tongue; the urine remarkably acrosaline; and the faeces atrabilious and foetid.”
“Aristotle, who says all great characters are more or less atrabilious, as Socrates and Plato and Hercules were, writes, that Lysander, not indeed early in life, but when he was old, became thus affected.”
“Nor are the ‘atrabilious’ addicted to sleep, for in them the inward region is cooled so that the quantity of evaporation in their case is not great.”
“In June the death of Lord Halifax made a vacancy in the cabinet, which was occupied by the Earl of Suffolk, while his place of lord privy seal was taken by the Duke of Grafton, whose restoration caused a great stir in the political world, and called forth the atrabilious rancour of Junius, who had prided himself on having driven the noble duke from office.”
“The article came to us just as we were laboring under an attack of dyspepsia, and its reading fairly shook our atrabilious _corpus_.”
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