from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One of the four humors of ancient and medieval physiology, supposed to cause melancholy when present in excess.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. One of the four humours of ancient and mediaeval physiology, that was believed to be secreted by the kidneys and spleen and to cause melancholy and sadness when present in excess.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See atrabile.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a humor that was once believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen and to cause sadness and melancholy
Sorry, no etymologies found.
“Saudá,” feminine of aswad (black), and meaning black bile (melancholia) as opposed to leucocholia,
281 This is a sign of the Saudáwí or melancholic temperament in which black bile pre-dominates.
Said the Caliph; “Speak, O damsel,” whereupon said she, “Copulation hath in it many and exceeding virtues and praiseworthy qualities, amongst which are, that it lighteneth a body full of black bile and calmeth the heat of love and induceth affection and dilateth the heart and dispelleth the sadness of solitude; and the excess of it is more harmful in summer and autumn than in spring and winter.”
Four “diseases” are con - nected with the kidneys; there is a dropsy coming from the spleen; the disease “hepatitis” is attributed to the black bile flowing into the liver.