from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Thick, sticky, stringy mucus secreted by the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, as during a cold or other respiratory infection.
- n. One of the four humors of ancient and medieval physiology, thought to cause sluggishness, apathy, and evenness of temper.
- n. Sluggishness of temperament.
- n. Calm self-possession; equanimity.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of the four humors of which the ancients supposed the blood to be composed. See humor.
- n. Viscid mucus secreted in abnormal quantity in the respiratory and digestive passages.
- n. A watery distilled liquor, in distinction from a spirituous liquor.
- n. Sluggishness of temperament; dullness; want of interest; indifference; coldness.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of the four humors of which the ancients supposed the blood to be composed.
- n. In old chemistry, the aqueous, insipid, and in odorous products obtained by subjecting moist vegetable matter to the action of heat.
- n. A thick viscid matter secreted in the digestive and respiratory passages, and discharged by coughing or vomiting; bronchial mucus.
- n. Dullness; sluggishness; indifference; coolness; apathy; calm self-restraint.
- n. Synonyms Insensibility, Impassibility, etc. See apathy.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. apathy demonstrated by an absence of emotional reactions
- n. expectorated matter; saliva mixed with discharges from the respiratory passages; in ancient and medieval physiology it was believed to cause sluggishness
- n. inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy
Middle English fleume, mucous discharge, the humor phlegm, from Old French, from Medieval Latin phlegma, flegma, from Late Latin phlegma, the humor phlegm, from Greek, heat, the humor phlegm, from phlegein, to burn.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French fleume, Middle French phlegme (French flegme), and their source, Latin phlegma, from Ancient Greek φλέγμα (phlegma, "flame; inflammation; clammy humor in the body"), from φλέγειν ("to burn"). Compare phlox, flagrant, flame, bleak (adjective), fulminate. (Wiktionary)