Sadness or depression of the spirits; gloom: "There is melancholy in the wind and sorrow in the grass\u201d ( Charles Kuralt). Pensive reflection or contemplation. Archaic Black bile. Archaic An emotional state characterized by sullenness and outbreaks of violent anger, believed to arise from black bile. Affected with or marked by depression of the spirits; sad. See Synonyms at sad. Tending to promote sadness or gloom: a letter with some melancholy news. Pensive; thoughtful.