Definition of melancholy noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈmelənkəli//
, BrE//ˈmelənkɒli//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈmelənkɑːli//
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[uncountable] (formal) a deep feeling of sadness that lasts for a long time and often cannot be explained A mood of melancholy descended on us. There is a brooding melancholy in his black and white photography. See related entries: Unhappiness Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French melancolie, via late Latin from Greek melankholia, from melas, melan- ‘black’ + kholē ‘bile’, an excess of which was formerly believed to cause depression.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: melancholy

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