adjective, mood·i·er, mood·i·est.

given to gloomy, depressed, or sullen moods; ill-humored.
proceeding from or showing such a mood: a moody silence.
expressing or exhibiting sharply varying moods; temperamental.

Origin of moody

before 900; Middle English mody, Old English mōdig. See mood1, -y1
Related formsmood·i·ly, adverbmood·i·ness, nounun·mood·y, adjective

Synonyms for moody

1. sulky, morose, brooding; glowering. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for moodiness

Contemporary Examples of moodiness

Historical Examples of moodiness

  • "We must go back," she told him and exulted in his moodiness.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • Philip straightens himself, and his moodiness flies from him.

    Molly Bawn

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

  • On top of this moodiness a violence of temper, a stewing, cursing, fuming about.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • Yet Matty had been of service and perhaps her moodiness was caused by a suppressed affection.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • There is the evidence of extreme reticence and moodiness in Fuller always.

    Adventures in the Arts

    Marsden Hartley

British Dictionary definitions for moodiness


adjective moodier or moodiest

sullen, sulky, or gloomy
temperamental or changeable
Derived Formsmoodily, adverbmoodiness, noun



Dwight Lyman. 1837–99, US evangelist and hymnodist, noted for his revivalist campaigns in Britain and the US with I. D. Sankey
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 moodiness

Old English modignes "pride, passion, anger;" see moody + -ness. Meaning "condition of being moody" is from 1858.



Old English modig "brave, proud, high-spirited, impetuous, arrogant," from Proto-Germanic *modago- (cf. Old Saxon modag, Dutch moedig, German mutig, Old Norse moðugr); see mood (1) + -y (2). Meaning "subject to gloomy spells" is first recorded 1590s (via a Middle English sense of "angry").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

moodiness in Medicine




Given to frequent changes of mood; temperamental.
Subject to periods of depression; sulky.
Expressive of a mood, especially a sullen or gloomy mood.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.