from The Century Dictionary.

  • Same as atrabilarian.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Characterized by melancholy or gloom.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin ātra bīlis ("black bile").


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  • The doctor seemed of the middle age and middle stature, active and alert, with an atrabilarious aspect, and a mixture of rage and disdain expressed in his countenance.

    The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves 2004

  • England almost as poor as I had left it, and with an atrabilarious visage which took a two-months 'course of Cheltenham water to scour into anything like a decent colour.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, November 20, 1841 Various

  • I find that in this atrabilarious effusion you have treated ourselves very scurvily.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 330, April 1843 Various

  • But Mr. Roebuck, in an atrabilarious rage, dashed into an extempore assault on his quondam brothers across the Atlantic, and proceeded, in his summary and execrating manner, to put them out of the pale of civilised humanity.

    Sketches in Parliament 1863

  • Regnard, the author of the last French comedy after Moliere, was atrabilarious, and Moliere himself saturnine.

    Life of Lord Byron With His Letters And Journals Byron, George G 1854

  • This gentleman was naturally of an atrabilarious temperament, and much troubled with those phantoms of indigestion which are commonly called

    Nightmare Abbey Thomas Love Peacock 1825

  • French comedy after Molière, was atrabilarious, and Molière himself saturnine.

    Life of Lord Byron, Vol. 5 (of 6) With His Letters and Journals George Gordon Byron Byron 1806

  • "That was the king's secret, Master Heriot," said Sir Mungo, throwing himself into a chair with an air of atrabilarious importance; "the other was a well-meaning hint to yourself, as the girl's friend."

    The Fortunes of Nigel Walter Scott 1801

  • My aunt was neither rich, nor handsome, nor young; being, according to the rector's account, on the debtor side of his books, of an adust complection, atrabilarious in look and temper, thirty-four, and two years older than Mr. Elford.

    The Adventures of Hugh Trevor Thomas Holcroft 1777

  • The doctrine of another life, in presenting to mortals an ideal happiness, will render them enthusiasts; in overwhelming them with fears, it will make useless beings; generate cowards; form atrabilarious or furious men; who will lose sight of their present abode, to occupy themselves with the pictured regions of a world to come, with those dreadful evils which they must fear after their death.

    The System of Nature, Volume 1 Paul Henri Thiry Holbach 1756


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  • "Nightmare Abbey, a venerable family-mansion, in a highly picturesque state of semi-dilapidation, pleasantly situated on a strip of dry land between the sea and the fens, at the verge of the county of Lincoln, had the honour to be the seat of Christopher Glowry, Esquire. This gentleman was naturally of an atrabilarious temperament, and much troubled with those phantoms of indigestion which are commonly called blue devils.

    - Thomas Love Peacock, Nightmare Abbey

    See also atrabilarian.

    September 3, 2008