from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A mental disorder characterized by severe depression, guilt, hopelessness, and withdrawal.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Deep sadness or gloom; melancholy
- n. Clinical depression, characterised by irrational fears, guilt and apathy
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A kind of mental unsoundness characterized by extreme depression of spirits, ill-grounded fears, delusions, and brooding over one particular subject or train of ideas.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In pathology, a mental condition characterized by great depression combined with a sluggishness and apparent painfulness of mental action.
- n. Same as melancholy, 2.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. extreme depression characterized by tearful sadness and irrational fears
At least since the twelfth century, the term melancholia has been used to identify depressive illness.
Since the seventeenth century, the term melancholia has been used to in a stricter, modern meaning.
They're not for our benefit after all: the pleasure we get from them, the sweeter form of melancholia, is a bonus.
That phrase is so closely associated with the legendary prime minister that one assumes he coined it, but he probably got the term from his childhood nanny, and it shows up as a euphemism for melancholia all the way back to the writings of Dr. Samuel Johnson .
Louis Bayard on Against Happiness by Eric G. Wilson: Wilson's idea of melancholia is thoroughly Romantic and more than a little romantic.
Freud famously argues apropos of the processes of identification involved in melancholia that 'the shadow of the object falls on the ego.'
Whereas in melancholia the ego is vampirized by the introjected object, in mania the libido turns with ravenous hunger to the external world of objects; whatever appears before the manic's rapidly advancing probe is swallowed.
Anyway, melancholia is part of the Christmas spirit.
Fink’s melancholia, in other words, is a disease in the modern sense—a form of suffering with a specific biochemical signature.
Porpora’s belief that he resurrected the international fame of Poe, that master of mystery and melancholia, is questioned by some Poe scholars.