American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of or relating to phlegm; phlegmy.
- adj. Having or suggesting a calm, sluggish temperament; unemotional.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of the nature of phlegm; watery; aqueous: as, phlegmatic humors.
- Generating or causing phlegm.
- Abounding in phlegm; lymphatic; hence, cold; dull; sluggish; heavy; not easily excited to action or passion; apathetic; cool and self-restrained: as, a phlegmatic temperament. See temperament.
- Synonyms Frigid, impassive, unsusceptible. See apathy.
- adj. Not easily excited to action or passion; calm; sluggish.
- adj. archaic Abounding in phlegm; as, phlegmatic humors; a phlegmatic constitution.
- adj. Generating, causing, or full of phlegm.
- adj. Watery.
- n. One who has a phlegmatic disposition.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. obsolete Watery.
- adj. Abounding in phlegm
- adj. Generating or causing phlegm.
- adj. Not easily excited to action or passion; cold; dull; sluggish; heavy.
- adj. showing little emotion
- From Ancient Greek φλέγμα (phlégma, "phlegma") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English fleumatik, from Old French fleumatique, from Late Latin phlegmaticus, full of phlegm, from Greek phlegmatikos, from phlegma, phlegmat-, heat, the humor phlegm, from phlegein, to burn; see bhel-1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“He recalled the phlegmatic doctor, he recalled how he had grinned, that is, wrinkled up his nose when he saw him coming out of the wood almost arm-inarm with Baron Dönhof.”
“His temperament exhibited all the varieties known to science: in the morning, before drinking, he was melancholy; in the middle of the day, choleric; and in the evening, phlegmatic, that is to say, he did nothing at that time but snore and grunt till he was put to bed.”
“English, in our passion for daily excitement, might call her phlegmatic, but we should call her so unjustly.”
“One of the psychologists in Solar Defence had termed Hunter phlegmatic, which is to say lazy and sluggish.”
Secret Mission Moluk
“He recalled the phlegmatic doctor, he recalled how he had grinned, that is, wrinkled up his nose when he saw him coming out of the wood almost arm-in-arm with Baron Dönhof.”
“If we cast a glance at the variety to be observed in the human character in respect to feeling, we find, first, some people who have very little excitability, who are called phlegmatic or indolent.”
“Phlegmatic: The phlegmatic is the hardest to pinpoint because she's the queen of blending in.”
“The present Pakistani government is holding on by its fingernails and its response to the earthquake will probably be phlegmatic, which is, unfortunately, probably as much as it can manage.”
“Medical and popular opinion accused plants that grew underground of causing "phlegmatic" diseases, which ran the gamut from leprosy to hemorrhoids.”
“As an aside, "phlegmatic" was often used in 19th century discourse as a nice way to say "lazy.”
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