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[mel-uh n-kol-ik] /ˌmɛl ənˈkɒl ɪk/
disposed to or affected with melancholy; gloomy.
of, relating to, or affected with melancholia.
Origin of melancholic
1350-1400; Middle English melancolik < Latin melancholicus < Greek melancholikós. See melancholy, -ic
Related forms
melancholically, adverb
unmelancholic, adjective
unmelancholically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for melancholic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The captain was a clever, melancholic man, who had no unusual grip on his crew.

    Falk Joseph Conrad
  • This is the melancholic temperament, which does not shrink from the most profound inquiry.

    Six Centuries of Painting Randall Davies
  • My dear Madam, I am really getting too serious, philosophic, and melancholic.

  • She watched Paul growing irritable, priggish, and melancholic.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • But he fretted so, got so furious suddenly, and again was melancholic.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for melancholic


relating to or suffering from melancholy or melancholia
a person who suffers from melancholia
Derived Forms
melancholically, adverb
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 melancholic

late 14c., from melancholy + -ic, or else from Late Latin melancholicus, from Greek melankholikos "choleric," from melankholia "sadness" (see melancholy). As a noun, from 1580s. Earlier adjective formation was melancholian (mid-14c.), and melancholiac (mid-19c.) also was tried.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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melancholic in Medicine

melancholic mel·an·chol·ic (měl'ən-kŏl'ĭk)

  1. Affected with or being subject to melancholy.

  2. Of or relating to melancholia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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