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MELANCHOLY (Gr. MeXtryxoXta, from jutXas, black, and xoXi?, bile), originally a condition of the mind or body due to a supposed excess of black bile, also this black bile itself, one of the chief " humours " of the body, which were, according to medieval physiology, blood, phlegm, choler and melancholy (see HUMOUR) ; now a vague term for desponding grief. From the i 7th century the name was used of the mental disease now known as " melancholia " (see INSANITY), but without any reference to the supposed cause of it.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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