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[mel-uh n-koh-lee-uh, -kohl-yuh] /ˌmɛl ənˈkoʊ li ə, -ˈkoʊl yə/
a mental condition characterized by great depression of spirits and gloomy forebodings.
Psychiatry. endogenous depression.
Origin of melancholia
From Late Latin, dating back to 1685-95; See origin at melancholy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for melancholia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The truth was that she had given signs of melancholia ever since the death of Antonin.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • melancholia is where is offered a good chance for Christian Science.

    Evening Round Up

    William Crosbie Hunter
  • What if the gentleman in a sudden fit of melancholia had thrown himself into the lake?

    Jerry Jean Webster
  • Is not this a manifest case of insanity, in the form known as melancholia?

    Pages From an Old Volume of Life Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • You're going to get out of this wretched, unkempt state of melancholia at once.

    A Village of Vagabonds F. Berkeley Smith
British Dictionary definitions for melancholia


a former name for depression
Derived Forms
melancholiac, adjective, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for melancholia

1690s, from Modern Latin melancholia (see melancholy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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melancholia in Medicine

melancholia mel·an·cho·li·a (měl'ən-kō'lē-ə)
A mental disorder characterized by depression, apathy, and withdrawal.

mel'an·cho'li·ac (-lē-āk') adj. & n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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