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Jan 18, 2013
This week's theme
Words derived from bodily fluids

This week's words
sang-froid
lymphatic
seminal
salivate
melancholy

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

melancholy

PRONUNCIATION:
(MEL-uhn-kol-ee)

MEANING:
noun: A pensive, gloomy, depressed state.
adjective: Having or causing a sad mood.

ETYMOLOGY:
From the former belief that a gloomy state was the result of the excess of black bile. From Latin melancholia, from Greek melancholia (the condition of having an excess of black bile), from melan- (black) + chole (bile), ultimately from the Indo-European root ghel- (to shine), which is also the source of words such as yellow, gold, glimmer, gloaming, glimpse, glass, arsenic, and cholera. Earliest documented use: before 1375.

USAGE:
"Loss, estrangement, and distance--and a mood finely poised between melancholy and melodrama -- are the collection's keynotes."
Life's a beach: New fiction; The Economist (London, UK); Nov 30, 2002.

"His sigh and then his laugh, his melancholy and his humour, made people like him, and he knew it."
Virginia Woolf; Together and Apart.

See more usage examples of melancholy in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Some tortures are physical / And some are mental, / But the one that is both / Is dental. -Ogden Nash, poet (1902-1971)

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