Darkness vs Melancholy - What's the difference?

darkness | melancholy | Related terms |

Darkness is a related term of melancholy.

As nouns the difference between darkness and melancholy

is that darkness is (lb) the state of being dark; lack of light while melancholy is (historical) black bile, formerly thought to be one of the four "cardinal humours" of animal bodies.

As an adjective melancholy is

affected with great sadness or depression.



Alternative forms

* darckness (obsolete) * darkeness (obsolete)


  • (lb) The state of being dark; lack of light.
  • :
  • *1912 , (Willa Cather),
  • *:Over everything was darkness and thick silence, and the smell of dust and sunflowers.
  • *
  • *:Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness , but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
  • (lb) Gloom.
  • (lb) The product of being dark.
  • (lb) The state or quality of reflecting little light, of tending to a blackish or brownish color.
  • :
  • (lb) Evilness, lack of understanding or compassion, reference to death or suffering.
  • Antonyms

    * lightness




    (en adjective)
  • Affected with great sadness or depression.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1922, author=(Ben Travers), title=(A Cuckoo in the Nest)
  • , chapter=1 citation , passage=“[…] the awfully hearty sort of Christmas cards that people do send to other people that they don't know at all well. You know. The kind that have mottoes


    * (thoughtful sadness) (l) * See also


  • (historical) Black bile, formerly thought to be one of the four "cardinal humours" of animal bodies.
  • *, Bk.I, New York 2001, p.148:
  • Melancholy , cold and dry, thick, black, and sour,is a bridle to the other two hot humours, blood and choler, preserving them in the blood, and nourishing the bones.
  • Great sadness or depression, especially of a thoughtful or introspective nature.
  • * 1593 , (William Shakespeare), , V. i. 34:
  • My mind was troubled with deep melancholy .