melancholy#

melancholy#
melancholy n *sadness, melancholia, dejection, gloom, depression, blues, dumps
Analogous words: miserableness or misery, wretchedness (see corresponding adjectives at MISERABLE): despondency, despair, hopelessness, forlornness, desperation (see under DESPONDENT): *tedium, boredom, ennui, doldrums
Antonyms: exhilaration
Contrasted words: joy, delight, *pleasure, enjoyment, delectation, fruition: hopefulness, optimism (see corresponding adjectives at HOPEFUL)
melancholy adj
1 *melancholic, atrabilious, hypochondriac
Analogous words: morose, gloomy, glum, *sullen, dour, saturnine: depressed, oppressed, weighed down (see DEPRESS): *despondent, despairing, hopeless, forlorn, desperate
2 Melancholy, dolorous, doleful, lugubrious, rueful, plaintive are comparable when they mean expressing or suggesting sorrow or mourning. All of these words have, to a greater or less extent, weakened from their original meaning and are often used with a half-humorous connotation.
Melancholy may stress a quality that inspires pensiveness or sad reflection or awakens mournful thoughts or recollections which are not only not necessarily painful or disagreeable, but often agreeable, especially to the poetic or thoughtful mind
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sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly, most musical, most melancholy!—Milton

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the tender images we love to trace steal from each year a melancholy grace— Rogers

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I have in the present moment only the melancholy pleasure of an easy conscience— Warren

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The term more frequently applies to something which expresses or excites dejection or depression
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his melancholy old house on the hill— Deland

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that melancholy problem of a money-earning occupation which lay so heavily on my thoughts— Ellis

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Dolorous describes what is lamentable in its gloom or dismalness or is exaggeratedly dismal
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that dolorous aspect of human nature which in comedy is best portrayed by Molière— T. S. Eliot

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a rapid succession of warnings, as dolorous and pessimistic as the little booklets of possible mishaps that accompany the sale of English cars— Gallant

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Doleful and lugubrious are also frequently applied to what is exaggeratedly dismal or dreary, but doleful connotes a weight of woe
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a doleful and lackadaisical air

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the mourners, who are singing a very doleful dirge— Goodenough

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and lugubrious, an undue, and often an affected, heaviness or solemnity
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dark funereal barges like my own had flitted by, and the gondoliers had warned each other at every turning with hoarse, lugubrious cries— How ells

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a lugubrious obituary quality in the treatment given by the American press to Sir Winston's resignation— Reporter

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a lugubrious place which filled me with dread— Henry Miller

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Rueful implies sorrow and regret but it often suggests a quizzical attitude
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the woebegone heroes . . . eyed each other with rueful countenances— Irving

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the fleeting glory of Napoleon, the rueful memory of Josephine and her somehow less enviable successor— Cassidy

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Plaintive applies chiefly to tones, sounds, utterances, or rhythms that suggest complaint or mourning or that excite pity or compassion
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the plaintive cries of a child

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he sighed, his voice became plaintiveHuxley

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the clarinet sings, in its eerie plaintive tone— S. R. Watson

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Analogous words: pathetic, poignant, *moving, touching: hopeless, forlorn, despairing (see DESPONDENT): pensive, reflective, *thoughtful: discomposing, disquieting, perturbing, disturbing (see DISCOMPOSE)
Contrasted words: happy, *glad, cheerful, joyous, joyful, lighthearted: *lively, vivacious, gay

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Melancholy — Mel an*chol*y, a. 1. Depressed in spirits; dejected; gloomy dismal. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Producing great evil and grief; causing dejection; calamitous; afflictive; as, a melancholy event. [1913 Webster] 3. Somewhat deranged in mind; having the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Melancholy — Mel an*chol*y, n. [OE. melancolie, F. m[ e]lancolie, L. melancholia, fr. Gr. ?; me las, me lanos, black + ? gall, bile. See {Malice}, and 1st {Gall}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Depression of spirits; a gloomy state continuing a considerable time; deep… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • melancholy — [adj] depressed, sad blue*, dejected, despondent, destroyed, disconsolate, dismal, dispirited, doleful, dolorous, down*, down and out*, downbeat, downcast, downhearted, down in the dumps*, down in the mouth*, dragged, droopy, funereal, gloomy,… …   New thesaurus

  • melancholy — [mel′ən käl΄ē] n. pl. melancholies [ME malencoli < OFr melancolie < LL melancholia < Gr < melas, black (see MELANO ) + cholē, bile, gall: see YELLOW] 1. Obs. a) black bile: in medieval times considered to be one of the four humors of… …   English World dictionary

  • melancholy — index despondent, disconsolate, lamentable, lugubrious, pessimism, pessimistic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • melancholy — ► NOUN ▪ deep and long lasting sadness. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ sad or depressed. DERIVATIVES melancholic adjective. ORIGIN Greek melankholia, from melas black + khol bile , an excess of which was formerly believed to cause depression …   English terms dictionary

  • melancholy — [[t]me̱lənkɒli[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED You describe something that you see or hear as melancholy when it gives you an intense feeling of sadness. ...a painter of haunting melancholy canvases... The only sounds were the distant, melancholy cries of the …   English dictionary

  • melancholy — melancholily, adv. melancholiness, n. /mel euhn kol ee/, n., pl. melancholies, adj. n. 1. a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression. 2. sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness. 3. Archaic. a. the condition of having too much… …   Universalium

  • melancholy — {{11}}melancholy (adj.) late 14c., with or caused by black bile; sullen, gloomy, sad, from MELANCHOLY (Cf. melancholy) (n.); sense of deplorable (of a fact or state of things) is from 1710. {{12}}melancholy (n.) c.1300, condition characterized by …   Etymology dictionary

  • melancholy — 1 adjective sad or making you feel sad: a melancholy expression | the seagulls melancholy cry 2 noun (U) formal a feeling of sadness for no particular reason: They sank into a mood of deep melancholy. | the lingering melancholy of Gloomy Sunday …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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