One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in medieval science and medicine) one of the four bodily humours, identified with bile and believed to be associated with a peevish or irascible temperament.Also called yellow bile
acrimony, resentment, rancour, sourness, acerbity, asperityView synonyms
- ‘While ministers talked of ‘demonic possession,’ doctors attributed mental illnesses to an imbalance of the four bodily ‘humors’: blood, phlegm, choler, and black bile.’
- ‘The humoral theory, on the other hand, viewed disease as an imbalance among the body's four basic principles: blood (the sanguine, or wet-hot, humor), phlegm (sluggish, or wet-cold), choler (dry-hot), and melancholy (dry-cold).’
- ‘Midway through the book, I discover a page written entirely in French, from a 1614 medical textbook, describing the four humours (blood, choler, melancholy and phlegm) and what each tasted like; what each was good for.’
- ‘He not only lists its uses, but tries to explain its actions: for example, ‘The emulsion of the seed is good for the jaundice, if there be ague accompanying it, for it opens obstructions of the gall, and causes digestion of choler.’’
- ‘There are also four elements: fire, earth, air and water; and four humors - choler or yellow bile, melancholer or black bile, blood and phlegm.’
- 1.1archaic Anger or irascibility.
annoyance, vexation, exasperation, crossness, irritation, irritability, indignation, pique, displeasure, resentmentView synonyms
- ‘The big head, bright eyes, and steely mouth suggest brains, pride, and choler.’
- ‘When he says that hops purges choler, he doesn't mean in the same way as scammony does because scammony could kill you if given in excessive doses but hops will probably just put you to sleep.’
Late Middle English (also denoting diarrhoea): from Old French colere ‘bile, anger’, from Latin cholera ‘diarrhoea’ (from Greek kholera), which in late Latin acquired the senses ‘bile or anger’, from Greek kholē ‘bile’.
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