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


Late Latin, melancholy; see melancholy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin melancholia, which was in turn borrowed from the Ancient Greek medical term μελαγχολία (melankholia, "blackness of the bile"). (Wiktionary)



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