phlegmatic "cool, calm, self-possessed," and in a more pejorative sense, "cold, dull, apathetic," 1570s, from lit. sense "abounding in phlegm (as a bodily humor)" (mid-14c.), from O.Fr. fleumatique, from L.L. phlegmaticus, from Gk. phlegmatikos "abounding in phlegm" (see PHLEGM (Cf. phlegm)).
A verry flewmatike man is in the body lustles, heuy and slow. [John of Trevisa, translation of Bartholomew de Glanville's "De proprietatibus rerum," 1398]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • Phlegmatic — Phleg*mat ic, a. [L. phlegmaticus, Gr. ?: cf. F. phlegmatique.] 1. Watery. [Obs.] Aqueous and phlegmatic. Sir I. Newton. [1913 Webster] 2. Abounding in phlegm; as, phlegmatic humors; a phlegmatic constitution. Harvey. [1913 Webster] 3. Generating …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • phlegmatic — I adjective aloof, apathetic, bloodless, bovine, callous, calm, cold, cold blooded, comatose, cool, detached, disinterested, dispassionate, distant, dull, frigid, halfhearted, hebetudinous, impassive, imperturbable, indifferent, inert, insensible …   Law dictionary

  • phlegmatic — *impassive, stolid, apathetic, stoic Analogous words: *indifferent, unconcerned, incurious, aloof: cool, chilly, *cold, frigid: sluggish, *lethargic …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • phlegmatic — [adj] unemotional along for the ride*, apathetic, blah*, cold, cool, deadpan, desensitized, disinterested, dispassionate, dull, emotionless, flat, frigid, groggy, indifferent, lethargic, lifeless, listless, passionless, passive, sluggish,… …   New thesaurus

  • phlegmatic — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ unemotional and stolidly calm. DERIVATIVES phlegmatically adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • phlegmatic — [fleg mat′ik] adj. [ME fleumatike < OFr < LL phlegmaticus < Gr phlegmatikos < phlegma: see PHLEGM] 1. hard to rouse to action; specif., a) sluggish; dull; apathetic b) calm; cool; stolid 2. Obs. of, like, or producing the humor phlegm …   English World dictionary

  • phlegmatic — adjective /flɛɡˈmætɪk/ a) Not easily excited to action or passion; calm; sluggish. b) Abounding in phlegm; as, phlegmatic humors; a phlegmatic constitution. Syn: apathetic, sluggish, cold blooded …   Wiktionary

  • phlegmatic — [[t]flegmæ̱tɪk[/t]] ADJ GRADED Someone who is phlegmatic stays calm even when upsetting or exciting things happen. [FORMAL] ...a most phlegmatic man, steadily working on as the rain splashed down. Syn: stoic Ant: nervous …   English dictionary

  • phlegmatic — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) adj. stolid, dull, apathetic; calm, imperturbable, languid, unemotional, inert, cold. See insensibility. II (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. apathetic, impassive, tiresome, cold; see dull 4 , indifferent 1 . See …   English dictionary for students

  • phlegmatic — phleg|mat|ic [flegˈmætık] adj calm and not easily excited or worried ▪ The taxi driver, a phlegmatic man in middle age, showed no surprise at this request. >phlegmatically [ kli] adv …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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