out of humor

out of humor


  1. a comic, absurd, or incongruous quality causing amusement: the humor of a situation.
  2. the faculty of perceiving what is amusing or comical: He is completely without humor.
  3. an instance of being or attempting to be comical or amusing; something humorous: The humor in his joke eluded the audience.
  4. the faculty of expressing the amusing or comical: The author’s humor came across better in the book than in the movie.
  5. comical writing or talk in general; comical books, skits, plays, etc.
  6. humors, peculiar features; oddities; quirks: humors of life.
  7. mental disposition or temperament.
  8. a temporary mood or frame of mind: The boss is in a bad humor today.
  9. a capricious or freakish inclination; whim or caprice; odd trait.
  10. (in medieval physiology) one of the four elemental fluids of the body, blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile, regarded as determining, by their relative proportions, a person’s physical and mental constitution.
  11. any animal or plant fluid, whether natural or morbid, as the blood or lymph.

verb (used with object)

  1. to comply with the humor or mood of in order to soothe or make content or more agreeable: to humor a child.
  2. to adapt or accommodate oneself to.


  1. out of humor, displeased; dissatisfied; cross: The chef is feeling out of humor again and will have to be treated carefully.

n.mid-14c., “fluid or juice of an animal or plant,” from Old North French humour (Old French humor; Modern French humeur), from Latin umor “body fluid” (also humor, by false association with humus “earth”); related to umere “be wet, moist,” and to uvescere “become wet,” from PIE *wegw- “wet.” In ancient and medieval physiology, “any of the four body fluids” (blood, phlegm, choler, and melancholy or black bile) whose relative proportions were thought to determine state of mind. This led to a sense of “mood, temporary state of mind” (first recorded 1520s); the sense of “amusing quality, funniness” is first recorded 1680s, probably via sense of “whim, caprice” (1560s), which also produced the verb sense of “indulge,” first attested 1580s. “The pronunciation of the initial h is only of recent date, and is sometimes omitted ….” [OED] For types of humor, see the useful table below, from H.W. Fowler [“Modern English Usage,” 1926]. device HUMOR WIT SATIRE SARCASM INVECTIVE IRONY CYNICISM SARDONIC motive/aim discovery throwing light amendment inflicting pain discredit exclusiveness self-justification self-relief province human nature words & ideas morals & manners faults & foibles misconduct statement of facts morals adversity method/means observation surprise accentuation inversion direct statement mystification exposure of nakedness pessimism audience the sympathetic the intelligent the self-satisfied victim & bystander the public an inner circle the respectable the self v.1580s; see humor (n.). Related: Humored; humoring. n.

  1. A body fluid, such as blood, lymph, or bile.
  2. Aqueous humor.
  3. Vitreous humor.
  4. One of the four fluids of the body, blood, phlegm, choler, and black bile, whose relative proportions were thought in ancient and medieval physiology to determine a person’s disposition and general health.
  5. A person’s characteristic disposition or temperament.
  6. An often temporary state of mind; a mood.

  1. See aqueous humor.
  2. See vitreous humor.
  3. One of the four fluids of the body-blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile-whose relative proportions were thought in ancient and medieval medicine to determine general health and character.

An archaic term for any fluid substance in the body, such as blood, lymph, or bile. see out of sorts. see out of sorts (humor).

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