Origin of choler
Words nearby choler
MORE ABOUT CHOLER
What does choler mean?
Choler means anger, irritability, or a generally bad temperament.
Choler is more commonly used in its adjective form, choleric, meaning easily angered or generally bad-tempered. People described as choleric are grouchy all the time and prone to getting into arguments, often for very little reason.
The word choler comes from the medieval notion that people’s personalities are based on the balance of four different types of elemental fluids in their body, called humors. One of these was called choler—another name for yellow bile. A choleric person was thought to be generally irritable due to the amount of choler in their body.
Example: She was the kind of choleric person who would get into a fight over anything and everything.
Where does choler come from?
The first records of choler in English come from the 1300s. It derives from the Latin cholera, referring to the disease cholera (which comes from the same root) or the condition jaundice, which involves yellow discoloration of the skin due to an excess of bile. The adjective choleric comes from the related Medieval Latin colericus, meaning “bilious” (“having excess bile”). Bilious can also be a synonym of choleric meaning “easily angered.”
In medieval physiology, a person’s disposition was thought to be based on whichever of the four elemental fluids in their body was most predominant. People who had a lot of phlegm were called phlegmatic and were said to be calm or perhaps apathetic. Those whose blood was said to rule their emotions were called sanguine and were thought to be cheerful. People with an excess of black bile were said to be melancholy—gloomy. Choler, or yellow bile, became associated with irritability, and those with too much of it were said to be choleric.
All of this was pseudoscience, but the adjectives that resulted from it are still used today. Sometimes you’ll see them as part of personality tests claiming to be able to label you with one or a combination of them. But they’re also used in a straightforward way to describe people’s overall temperaments. Choler means “anger,” but it usually refers to a kind of constant anger or near-anger—the kind that makes people have a short fuse and always get angry about something.
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to choler?
- choleric (adjective)
What are some synonyms for choler?
What are some words that share a root or word element with choler?
What are some words that often get used in discussing choler?
How is choler used in real life?
Sometimes, choler is used in reference to the outdated idea of personalities being governed by bodily fluids. But it’s often used as a more fanciful way to say “anger.” The adjective choleric is more commonly used.
Humble lettuce, according to John Evelyn, “may safely be eaten raw in Fevers; for it allays Heat, bridles Choler, extinguishes Thirst, excites Appetite, kindly Nourishes, and above all reprelles Vapours, conciliates Sleep, mitigates Pain.” https://t.co/PxnSXATi62
— Smithsonian Magazine (@SmithsonianMag) August 29, 2019
Hate when cold air causes my humours to become unaligned. Excessive choler is a workplace safety issue.
— grillpilled_cushbomb (@cushbomb) July 8, 2019
Just calculated that a client has the four classical humors in perfect balance: Choler, Phlegm, Melancholy, and Blood. I anticipate a one-minute consultation: "You are a perfect specimen of the quadripartite being; we're done here." 🔥🌊🌻🌬️ pic.twitter.com/SYpnX8b8Ih
— Nina Gryphon (@GryphAstrology) July 14, 2019
Try using choler!
Which of the following words would NOT be used to describe someone who’s known for their choler?
How to use choler in a sentence
In a sudden, blind choler, she swept round, plucked the dagger from Tressan's belt and flung herself upon the treacherous captain.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
With the flame of choler on her brow the princess went up to the fugitive, holding out this letter.Balsamo, The Magician|Alexander Dumas
Seeing Mona's agitation changing to choler, the Young Doctor intervened.You Never Know Your Luck, Complete|Gilbert Parker
We said, a strong flame of choler burnt in all these Hohenzollerns, though they held it well down.History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. III. (of XXI.)|Thomas Carlyle
The good Deacon began to find the "old Adam rising within him," but as a faithful member of the church he repressed his choler.Si Klegg, Book 2 (of 6)|John McElroy