The adjective for bile, bilious has three meanings. It means of or relating to bile. By extension, bilious means suffering from liver dysfunction (and especially excessive secretion of bile). And, further by extension, it is indicative of a peevish ill-natured disposition. The word "bilious" goes back to the old belief that there were four bodily humors (black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood) and these four humors determined a person's temperament. "Bilious" was the personality type associated with an excess of yellow bile. The word "bilious" derives from the French "bilieux," which in turn came from "bilis," the Latin term for "bile."
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1. SYN: biliary. 2. Relating to or characteristic of biliousness. 3. Formerly, denoting a temperament characterized by a quick, irritable temper. SYN: choleric.

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bil·ious 'bil-yəs adj
1) of or relating to bile
2) marked by or affected with disordered liver function and esp. excessive secretion of bile
bil·ious·ness n

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1. containing bile; for example bilious vomiting is the vomiting of bile-containing fluid.
2. a lay term used to describe attacks of nausea or vomiting.

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bil·ious (bilґyəs) [L. biliosus] 1. characterized by an excess of bile or by biliousness. 2. biliary.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Bilious — Bil ious (b[i^]l y[u^]s), a. [L. biliosus, fr. bilis bile.] 1. Of or pertaining to the bile. [1913 Webster] 2. Disordered in respect to the bile; troubled with an excess of bile; as, a bilious patient; dependent on, or characterized by, an excess …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bilious — I adjective bileful, choleric, dyspeptic, jaundiced, spiteful, spleenful II index bitter (penetrating), dyseptic, malevolent Burton s Leg …   Law dictionary

  • bilious — (adj.) 1540s, pertaining to bile, biliary, from Fr. bilieux, from L. biliosus pertaining to bile, from bilis (see BILE (Cf. bile)). Meaning wrathful, peevish, ill tempered (as people afflicted with an excess of bile were believed to be) is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • bilious — ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to bile. 2) affected by nausea or vomiting. 3) spiteful; bad tempered. DERIVATIVES biliously adverb biliousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • bilious — [bil′yəs] adj. [Fr bilieux < L biliosus < bilis, bile] 1. of the bile 2. having or resulting from some ailment of the bile or the liver 3. having the appearance of one who has such an ailment 4. bad tempered; cross biliously adv.… …   English World dictionary

  • bilious — [[t]bɪ̱liəs[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n (disapproval) If someone describes the appearance of something as bilious, they mean that they think it looks unpleasant and rather disgusting. [WRITTEN] ...the bilious green overstuffed sofas. 2) ADJ If… …   English dictionary

  • bilious — bil|i|ous [ˈbıliəs] adj [Date: 1500 1600; : French; Origin: bilieux, from Latin biliosus, from bilis; BILE] 1.) feeling as if you might ↑vomit ▪ I got up feeling bilious and with a terrible headache. ▪ She felt a bilious attack coming on. 2.)… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bilious — adjective 1) I felt bilious Syn: nauseous, sick, queasy, nauseated, green around the gills; rare qualmish Ant: well 2) his bilious disposition See irritable 3) …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • bilious — adjective Etymology: Middle French bilieux, from Latin biliosus, from bilis Date: 1541 1. a. of or relating to bile b. marked by or suffering from liver dysfunction and especially excessive secretion of bile c …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • bilious — biliously, adv. biliousness, n. /bil yeuhs/, adj. 1. Physiol., Pathol. pertaining to bile or to an excess secretion of bile. 2. Pathol. suffering from, caused by, or attended by trouble with the bile or liver. 3. peevish; irritable; cranky. 4.… …   Universalium

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