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1. A severe form of depression marked by anhedonia, insomnia, psychomotor changes, and guilt.
2. A symptom occurring in other conditions, marked by depression of spirits and by a sluggish and painful process of thought.
Synonym(s): melancholy
[melan- + G. cholē, bile. See humoral doctrine]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


1. Sadness or depression of the spirits; gloom.
2. Pensive reflection or contemplation.
Feeling, showing, or expressing depression of the spirits; sad or dejected.

mel′an·chol′i·ly adv.
mel′an·chol′i·ness n.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


The constellation of mental or emotional symptoms of depression or despondency. While melancholy continues to be used in a poetic (i.e., non-medical) fashion, it is not formally defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and thus is not part of the working medical parlance.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


Psychiatry Depression that follows external events–eg, mourning loss of a loved one. Cf Melancholia.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. A severe form of depression marked by anhedonia, insomnia, psychomotor changes, and guilt.
2. A symptom occurring in other conditions, marked by depression of spirits and by a sluggish and painful process of thought.
Synonym(s): melancholy.
[melan- + G. cholē, bile]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

Patient discussion about melancholy

Q. I may be healthier now, but miserable… I’ve not been smoking for a whole month (my longest period in the last decade), and I do feel a bit better physically, but it seems that I lost the joy of life – I don’t go out with my friends any more (because they’re all smokers), I envy other smokers, and generally I feel nervous and dull. Will it be like that forever or is there hope?

A. Well, try to think about what are you missing? The foul smell? The yellow teeth? The feeling of suffocating next morning? Whenever you feel longing to cigarettes, try to think again why you stopped smoking- and it’d help you to keep with it.

Q. i get in to depression suddenly from a very calm mood. I get in to depression suddenly from a very calm mood. I am having a high mood swing for nearly a year. Sometimes I become crazy and start to jump on the roads. The other minute I do remember something from past and go in to deep depression. Due to this continuous change in my mood I am not able to concentrate on my studies. With this behavior I have lost some of my good friends too. This has put me in continuous stress and I have almost forgotten my good night sleep. My friends say that I am a bipolar….

A. Rohan,
The others are right, it would be benificial to you to seek professional help... You are saying that you have things in your past that are causing you stress, those things need to be worked through with a professional. You do not hve to continue suffering... Seek a proper diagnosis and you will get treatments that can help you feel much better...

Q. I’m often getting mood swings and depression. I’m fresher to my college. I’m often getting mood swings and depression. I don’t have close friend in this college, to share my thoughts. And I think there’s no point in life. And I don't want to do anything. Help me.

A. Well, depression and mood swings are common to all. So don’t worry about that. You need to talk to someone who is close to you and try to talk with your doctor, and a small amount of meds will help out a lot and won’t make you sick. Good luck!!!

More discussions about melancholy
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References in periodicals archive ?
These soliloquies provide a contrast of sorts--albeit one made for dramatic necessity--between the historical Henry who "as a result of depressive stupor [...] lost control of his limbs and was unable to speak" (Hallam 215) and who perhaps "laughed and sang" (Griffiths 873) under a tree while observing a battle, and the Shakespearean Henry whose eloquent outpourings of "negative beliefs and pessimism" (Shaw 92) can be read as anticipations of passages in later plays spoken by other melancholy or depressed characters, such as, for example, Jaques' "All the world's a stage" (AYLI II.vii.
The Melancholy Howl is a snappy thriller that is one part Colorado, one part conspiracy theory, and one part CBD.
The second strain, the "pathological" expression of melancholy, was disseminated by Galen, linked to the dark humoral imbalance that produced fear, sadness, anxiety, and paranoia, and anatomized unforgettably by Robert Burton.
In this collection of essays, international contributors celebrate melancholy as part of the landscape and, of course, mourn the passing of melancholy in the landscape in the form of ruins and abandoned urban spaces.
(13) Yet, there was a physiological twist in the theory of inspiration put forward by Renaissance Neoplatonists: for them, inspiration went hand-in-hand with black bile or melancholy, which they understood to account for exceptional genius and predispose towards the reception of divine inspiration.
This work explores the legacy of unresolved grief produced by ongoing racial oppression and resistance in the United States, using acute analysis of literature, drama, musical performance, and films, the author demonstrates how rituals of racialization and resistance transfer and transform melancholy discreetly across time, consolidating racial identities and communities along the way.
YEAR on yea melancholy York tops fav song lists so fitting that t launched the time for Chri Described band bottled just as much is produced Distillers in I coastal spot A blend of 50 whis bour 50% whis ca Described as the 'spirit of the band bottled' and containing just as much character, it is produced by West Cork Distillers in Ireland's rugged coastal spot, Skibbereen.
Know that staying awake and studying for a long period of time, contemplating theoretical sciences, avoiding the company of different people, and being alone with one's thoughts all cause a difficult type of melancholy that is similar to the kind that occurs when the brain is specifically affected by melancholy humors; in addition to this, the other humors are [also] burnt.
The actual painting of Melancholy is considered a small work, measuring a mere 7.5" x 9.75".
Romanticism & Melancholy: The Spirit of the Age
Following an introductory overview of the history of the subject, the various chapters address different types of melancholy. The discussion of religious melancholy, or "privileged piety," focuses on Saint John the Baptist and Saint Jerome, as well as anonymous hermits.
It is perhaps precisely because melancholy apparently resists illustration that it is so compulsively illustrated.