Pronunciation: (mel'un-kol"ē), [key]
—n., pl. -chol•ies,
1. a gloomy state of mind, esp. when habitual or prolonged; depression.
2. sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.
a. the condition of having too much black bile, considered in ancient and medieval medicine to cause gloominess and depression.
b. black bile.
1. affected with, characterized by, or showing melancholy; mournful; depressed: a melancholy mood.
2. causing melancholy or sadness; saddening: a melancholy occasion.
3. soberly thoughtful; pensive.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.