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Alternative forms[edit]


The adjective form of spleen, borrowed from Late Latin spleneticus, from Latin splen. Anger was traditionally believed to originate from the fluids of the spleen.



splenetic (comparative more splenetic, superlative most splenetic)

  1. Bad-tempered, irritable, peevish, spiteful, habitually angry.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:angry, Thesaurus:irritable
    • 1678, Samuel Butler, Hudibras:
      A sect, whose chief devotion lies / In odd perverse antipathies; / [] / More peevish, cross, and splenetick, / Than dog distract, or monkey sick.
    • 1876, George Eliot, Daniel Deronda:
      In fact, Gwendolen, not intending it, but intending the contrary, had offended her hostess, who, though not a splenetic or vindictive woman, had her susceptibilities.
    • 1989, Greil Marcus, “The Attack on Charlie Chaplin”, in Lipstick Traces, Faber & Faber, published 2009:
      In 1979 he published Contre le cinéma situationniste, néo-nazi (Against Neo-Nazi Situationist Cinema), a pamphlet on Hurlements and Debord's later films so splenetic that Isou was unable to bring himself to mention Debord by name; []
  2. (biology) Related to the spleen.
    • 1879, Sir Samuel White Baker, Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879
      I have already described the general protuberance of the abdomen among the children throughout the Messaria and the Carpas districts, all of whom are more or less affected by splenetic diseases.

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Related terms[edit]



splenetic (plural splenetics)

  1. (archaic) A person affected with spleen.