black bile

  1. one of the four elemental bodily humors of medieval physiology, regarded as causing gloominess.

Origin of black bile

First recorded in 1790–1800

Words Nearby black bile Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use black bile in a sentence

  • According to this celebrated theory there are four humors in the body—blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile.

  • Abscess of the liver depends upon some vice of the blood, the bile, the phlegm or the black-bile.

    Gilbertus Anglicus | Henry Ebenezer Handerson
  • But these various pursuits did not banish all her cares, or carry off all her constitutional black bile.

    Mary | Mary Wollstonecraft
  • These four "humours" were blood, phlegm, yellow bile (or choler), and black bile (or melancholy).

    Stories That Words Tell Us | Elizabeth O'Neill
  • Three days later Black, of Georgia, "poured forth his black bile" for an hour and a half.

    John Quincy Adams | John. T. Morse

British Dictionary definitions for black bile

black bile

  1. archaic one of the four bodily humours; melancholy: See humour (def. 8)

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