Phlegm (?), n. [F. phlegme, flegme, L. phlegma, fr. Gr. a flame, inflammation, phlegm, a morbid, clammy humor in the body, fr. to burn. Cf. Phlox, Flagrant, Flame, Bleak, a., and Fluminate.]
One of the four humors of which the ancients supposed the blood to be composed. See Humor.
Viscid mucus secreted in abnormal quantity in the respiratory and digestive passages.
3. Old Chem.
A watery distilled liquor, in distinction from a spirituous liquor.
Sluggishness of temperament; dullness; want of interest; indifference; coldness.
They judge with fury, but they write with phlegm.
© Webster 1913.