Meaning of SPLEEN in English

I. ˈsplēn noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English splen, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French esplen, from Latin splen, from Greek splēn; akin to Latin lien spleen, Old Irish selg, Old Slavic slĕzena, Sanskrit plīhan


a. : a highly vascular ductless abdominal organ of vertebrates that resembles a gland in organization but is closely associated with the circulatory system playing a role in the maintenance of blood volume, production of some types of blood cells, recovery of material from worn-out red blood cells, and probably in the production of antibodies and that in man is a dark purplish flattened oblong object of a soft fragile consistency lying near the cardiac end of the stomach and consisting largely of reticuloendothelial and lymphoid tissue enclosed in a fibroelastic capsule from which trabeculae ramify through the tissue of the organ which is divisible into a loose friable red pulp in intimate connection with the blood supply and with red blood cells free in its interstices and a denser white pulp chiefly of lymphoid tissue condensed in masses about the small arteries

b. archaic : the seat of emotions and passions : the source of laughter

2. : any of various passions or emotions or their manifestations:

a. obsolete : violent mirth or merriment ; also : laughter

haply my presence may well abate thy overmerry spleen — Shakespeare

b. archaic : a fit of anger, malice, or bad temper


(1) obsolete : a sudden impulse : whim , caprice

a thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways — Shakespeare

(2) obsolete : a capricious temper

d. obsolete : a proud courageous impetuous temper : manly spirit

leaden age, quicken'd with youthful spleen and warlike rage — Shakespeare

also : impetuosity , high-spiritedness


(1) : latent malevolence or spite : violent feelings of anger or spite especially when suddenly and explosively released

his countrymen vented their spleen at his failure … by sending the unfortunate naval commander into exile — A.J.Toynbee

(2) obsolete : a feeling of ill will : grudge

I have no spleen against you — Shakespeare

f. : extreme lowness of spirits : melancholy , depression

Synonyms: see malice

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: to arouse the wrath of : anger

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.