black bile



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

Origin of black bile

First recorded in 1790–1800 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for black bile

Historical Examples of 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

British Dictionary definitions for black bile

black bile


archaic one of the four bodily humours; melancholySee 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

black bile in Medicine

black bile


One of the four humors of ancient and medieval physiology, supposed to cause melancholy when present in excess.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.