Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Affected with or subject to melancholy.
  • adj. Of or relating to melancholia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Filled with or affected by melancholy—great sadness or depression, especially of a thoughtful or introspective nature.
  • n. A person who is habitually melancholy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Given to melancholy; depressed; melancholy; dejected; unhappy.
  • n. One affected with a gloomy state of mind.
  • n. A gloomy state of mind; melancholy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Affected with melancholy; gloomy; hypochondriac.
  • Produced by melancholy; expressive or suggestive of melancholy; somber; gloomy; mournful: as, melancholic strains.
  • Producing melancholy; unfortunate; causing sorrow.
  • n. One who is affected with mental gloom; a hypochondriac; in pathology, one who suffers from melancholia; a melancholiac.
  • n. A gloomy state of mind.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone subject to melancholia
  • adj. characterized by or causing or expressing sadness

Etymologies

From Ancient Greek μελαγχολικός (melankholikos, "atrabilious, impulsive, of atrabilious or melancholic temperament"), from μελαγχολία (melankholia, "melancholy"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Whether we identify as melancholic, or a classic Meyers-Briggs Introvert-Sensing-Thinking-Judging, or excuse our disheveled bedroom as a sign of our creativity, we take comfort in classifying our personalities, even as we insist on our individuality.

    You Are What You Keep

  • I will go out on a limb and suggest a certain melancholic mood perchance?

    Rebecca Reminds - They're Perfectly Normal

  • The melancholic is the person whose mum and dad made it impossible for him to maintain the illusion that normally keeps this awareness at bay.

    MANUFACTURING DEPRESSION

  • Many great artists — and not only they — were described as melancholic, among them

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • Rembrandt and Velázquez — was ever described as melancholic and, indeed, showed any traces of the affliction.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • This temperament the Elizabethans would have called melancholic; and Hamlet seems to be an example of it, as Lear is of a temperament mixedly choleric and sanguine.

    Shakespearean Tragedy Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth

  • But when I am melancholic, that is how I like to play.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Speaking of Simon, Ritter recalls the melancholic side of that legendary songwriter in the epic "Another New World," as well as his perky side in "Lark."

    NPR Topics: News

  • All in all there are also glimpses especially in the Piano Quartet of a subtle lyrical and romantic aura that produces some ethereal sounds that recall melancholic and mellow moods.

    Audiophile Audition Headlines

  • Outfitted primarily with acoustic guitars, bass, and muted drums, their approach can be described as melancholic folk-pop (think Simon & Garfunkel, Ida, or Essex Green).

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