1. Of or relating to phlegm; phlegmy.
a. Having or suggesting a calm, sluggish temperament; unemotional or apathetic.
b. Archaic Having phlegm as the dominant humor in terms of medieval physiology.
[Middle English fleumatik, from Old French fleumatique, from Late Latin phlegmaticus, full of phlegm, from Greek phlegmatikos, from phlegma, phlegmat-, heat, the humor phlegm, from phlegein, to burn; see bhel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.