Definition of atrabilious in English:



  • Melancholy or ill-tempered.

    • ‘He was proud, morose, and atrabilious; he rarely answered letters; he showed contempt for all who differed from his views and reacted violently to criticism.’
    • ‘The atrabilious maladies to which artists were supposedly vulnerable included lovesickness and plague.’
    • ‘Serena refused to invite the atrabilious Mr. Morne, who could spoil a party just by opening his mouth.’
    • ‘It is beneficial to atrabilious persons.’
    • ‘The atrabilious temperament or melancholia is, according to Aristotle, a natural disposition in which there is a preponderance of black bile over the other humours.’
    • ‘When the atrabilious humour is in too much abundance melancholia, characterized by aversion to food, despondency, sleeplessness, irritability, restlessness and depression could result.’
    bad-tempered, ill-tempered, ill-humoured, angry, wrathful, cross, peevish, petulant, pettish, irritable, irascible, cantankerous, choleric, dyspeptic, testy, tetchy, snappish, waspish, crotchety, crabby, crabbed, querulous, resentful, rancorous, bilious, sour, bitter, acid, liverish
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Mid 17th century (in the sense affected by black bile one of the four supposed cardinal humors of the body, believed to cause melancholy): from Latin atra bilis black bile translation of Greek melankholia melancholy + -ious.