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From Middle English colerik, from Old French colerique, from Latin cholericus.



choleric (comparative more choleric, superlative most choleric)

  1. (according to theories of the four humours or temperaments) Having a temperament characterized by an excess of choler; easily becoming angry.
    • 1625, Francis [Bacon], “Of Travel”, in The Essayes [], 3rd edition, London: [] Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, OCLC 863521290:
      And let a man beware, how he keepeth company with choleric and quarrelsome persons; for they will engage him into their own quarrels.
    • 1640, George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, etc., in The Remains of that Sweet Singer of the Temple George Herbert, London: Pickering, 1841, p. 146,[1]
      From a choleric man withdraw a little; from him that says nothing for ever.
    • 1840 April – 1841 November, Charles Dickens, “Chapter the Thirty-fifth”, in The Old Curiosity Shop. A Tale. [], volume I, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1841, OCLC 1109979921:
      As it was clear that he was a choleric fellow in some respects, Mr Swiveller was relieved to find him in such good humour, and, to encourage him in it, smiled himself.
    • 1936, Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind, Part I, Chapter 2,[2]
      Beneath his choleric exterior Gerald O’Hara had the tenderest of hearts.
  2. Showing or expressing anger.
  3. Of or relating to cholera (infectious disease).
    • 1833, David Craigie, “Observations, pathological and therapeutic, on the epidemic cholera, as it has prevailed in Edinburgh and its vicinity,” Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, No. 114, p. 21,[4]
      I now proceed to enumerate those lesions and morbid changes found in the bodies of those cut off by cholera, which must have preceded the appearance of the disease, and which, existing, as they did, in very different organs, had no connection with the choleric symptoms, but nevertheless rendered the chance of recovery much less likely.
  4. (obsolete) Causing an excess of choler.


Related terms[edit]



choleric (plural cholerics)

  1. A person with a choleric temperament.
    • c. 1915, John Adams, Making the Most of One’s Mind, New York: Hodder & Stoughton, p. 21,[5]
      The cholerics show ambition, stubbornness, love of work, courage []
    • 1984, Tim LaHaye, Your Temperament: Discover its Potential, republished as Why You Act the Way You Do, Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House, 2012,[6]
      No one utters more caustic comments than a sarcastic choleric!
  2. A person suffering from cholera (infectious disease).
    • 1832, Ashbel Smith, The Cholera Spasmodica, New York: P. Hill, p. 59,[7]
      Persons laboring under pulmonary affections appear to be less liable than others, though I have found softened tubercles in some cholerics.