Melancholia is a state of deep sadness. Your melancholia might make it hard to succeed in your career as a jolly birthday party clown.

Melancholia is a name for a serious, diagnosable mental illness, but it can also mean more of a philosophical or aesthetic idea. You can call severe depression that requires a doctor's care melancholia. But you can also talk about the melancholia of your favorite piece of classical music or novel, if they're imbued with a somber moodiness or a deep sense of sorrow. The Greek root is melankolia, "sadness."

Definitions of melancholia

n extreme depression characterized by tearful sadness and irrational fears

Type of:
a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity

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