Melancholy is beyond sad: as a noun or an adjective, it's a word for the gloomiest of spirits.

Being melancholy means that you're overcome in sorrow, wrapped up in sorrowful thoughts. The word started off as a noun for deep sadness, from a rather disgusting source. Back in medieval times, people thought that secretions of the body called "humors" determined their feelings, so a depressed person was thought to have too much of the humor known as melancholy — literally "black bile" secreted from the spleen. Fortunately, we no longer think we're ruled by our spleens, and that black bile has been replaced by another color of sorrow: the "blues."

Definitions of melancholy
  1. noun
    a constitutional tendency to be gloomy and depressed
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    type of:
    a mental state characterized by a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity
  2. noun
    a feeling of thoughtful sadness
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    gloom, gloominess, somberness, sombreness
    a feeling of melancholy apprehension
    a feeling of dispirited melancholy
    brooding, pensiveness
    persistent morbid meditation on a problem
    Weltschmerz, world-weariness
    sadness on thinking about the evils of the world
    type of:
    sadness, unhappiness
    emotions experienced when not in a state of well-being
  3. noun
    a humor that was once believed to be secreted by the kidneys or spleen and to cause sadness and melancholy
    synonyms: black bile
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    type of:
    bodily fluid, body fluid, humor, humour, liquid body substance
    the liquid parts of the body
  4. adjective
    characterized by or causing or expressing sadness
    “growing more melancholy every hour”
    “we acquainted him with the melancholy truth”
    synonyms: melancholic
    experiencing or showing sorrow or unhappiness
  5. adjective
    grave or even gloomy in character
    synonyms: somber, sombre
    cheerless, depressing, uncheerful
    causing sad feelings of gloom and inadequacy
Word Family

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