[mel-uh n-kol-ik]


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 formsmel·an·chol·i·cal·ly, adverbun·mel·an·chol·ic, adjectiveun·mel·an·chol·i·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for melancholic

Contemporary Examples of melancholic

Historical Examples of melancholic

  • The captain was a clever, melancholic man, who had no unusual grip on his crew.


    Joseph Conrad

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

  • 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 Formsmelancholically, 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

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

melancholic in Medicine




Affected with or being subject to melancholy.
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.