Splenetic – marked by bad temper, malevolence, or spite In early Western physiology, a person’s physical qualities and mental disposition were believed to be determined by the proportion of four bodily humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. The last of these was believed to be secreted by the spleen, causing feelings of disposition ranging from intense sadness (melancholia) to irascibility. This now-discredited association explains how the use of “splenetic” (deriving from the Late Latin spleneticus and the Latin splen, meaning “spleen”) came to mean both “bad-tempered” and “given to melancholy” as well as “of or relating to the spleen.” In later years, the “melancholy” sense fell out of use, but the sense pertaining to ill humor or malevolence remains with us today. Fractious, Crotchety, Peevish are synonyms of splenetic. When the workers learned, their paychecks would be delayed, they displayed their splenetic natures by breaking the accountant’s door. Matt was splenetic after his wife left him for another man. ]]>

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