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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce phlegmatic (audio)

Dictionary definition of phlegmatic

Calm, unemotional, and composed, even in difficult or stressful situations.
"He was a phlegmatic driver, never getting flustered in heavy traffic."

Detailed meaning of phlegmatic

A phlegmatic person is someone who is not easily excited or agitated, and who can maintain their composure and self-control in difficult circumstances. They are often seen as unflappable, unruffled, and unemotional. They can be described as having a "cool" personality, they tend to be indifferent and unresponsive to the emotions and actions of others.

Phlegmatic people are often seen as reliable and steady in a crisis, as they can remain calm and composed even when others are panicked or upset. They are not easily swayed by emotions, and are often able to make decisions based on logic and reason, rather than on feelings.

The term can also be used to describe a person's behavior or demeanor, such as a phlegmatic response to a crisis, which means that the person's reaction is calm and composed. It can also be used to describe an attitude or approach that is unemotional and unresponsive, such as a phlegmatic attitude towards a difficult situation.

Overall, Phlegmatic implies a calm, unemotional and composed demeanor, and an ability to remain composed and unruffled in difficult or stressful situations.

Example sentences containing phlegmatic

1. His phlegmatic demeanor helped him handle the crisis without losing his cool.
2. Sarah remained phlegmatic, even when the debate turned heated and contentious.
3. The phlegmatic employee handled customer complaints with ease and grace.
4. In the chaotic emergency room, her phlegmatic attitude was an asset.
5. Despite the market crash, the investor remained phlegmatic and focused.
6. The phlegmatic teacher wasn't easily rattled, even by the rowdiest students.

History and etymology of phlegmatic

The adjective 'phlegmatic' has its etymology rooted in ancient Greek medicine and philosophy. It is derived from the Greek word 'phlegma,' which referred to one of the four bodily humors in ancient Greek medical theory. The humor 'phlegma' was associated with a calm and unemotional temperament. According to the ancient belief, a person's temperament was influenced by the balance of these bodily humors, and someone with an excess of 'phlegma' was considered to be calm and composed, even in difficult or stressful situations. Thus, 'phlegmatic' etymologically signifies a disposition akin to the qualities attributed to the humor 'phlegma,' emphasizing a serene and unemotional nature, regardless of external circumstances.

Quiz: Find the meaning of phlegmatic

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Further usage examples of phlegmatic

1. He approached the complex puzzle with a phlegmatic disposition, never frustrated.
2. Even during a turbulent flight, the phlegmatic pilot maintained everyone's trust.
3. The quarterback remained phlegmatic, leading the team to victory in the final minute.
4. Her phlegmatic response to the news surprised everyone expecting an emotional reaction.
5. In the stressful courtroom, the lawyer was phlegmatic, sticking to the facts.
6. The phlegmatic artist continued his work despite the critics' harsh reviews.
7. During the hike, her phlegmatic approach helped her conserve energy and stamina.
8. When faced with delays, he remained phlegmatic, making the best of a bad situation.
9. The phlegmatic diplomat smoothed over conflicts with well-chosen, calming words.
10. Despite the failure of his project, he remained phlegmatic and started anew.
11. The phlegmatic scientist calmly collected data, even during the explosive experiment.
12. Her phlegmatic nature made her a perfect fit for a high-stress job in finance.
13. Even in a noisy environment, the phlegmatic writer found the focus to complete his book.
14. When the toddler threw a tantrum, the phlegmatic babysitter handled it brilliantly.
15. The phlegmatic officer managed to defuse a potentially violent situation peacefully.
16. His phlegmatic temperament made him an excellent mediator during disputes.
17. She remained phlegmatic throughout the campaign, never letting stress get to her.
18. The phlegmatic surgeon performed the complex operation with unwavering focus.
19. Amidst the chaos of the disaster, the phlegmatic firefighter saved many lives.
20. During the heated family gathering, he was the phlegmatic presence that kept the peace.
21. She led the high-stakes negotiation in a phlegmatic manner, achieving a fair deal.
22. When the system crashed, his phlegmatic approach helped quickly identify the issue.
23. The phlegmatic captain steered the ship safely through the treacherous waters.
24. Despite the dire circumstances, the phlegmatic nurse provided care without hesitation.



unemotional, excitable, emotional, volatile


Apathy and Indifference, Conduct and Character, Uniformity and Consistency, Temperament and Disposition

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