Catholic Dictionary




The distinctive emotional, mental, and affective qualities of each individual. A classic position holds that there are four basic temperaments: phlegmatic, or not easily aroused; choleric, or having a low threshold for anger; sanguine, or optimistic and free from anxiety; and melancholic, or given to introspection and pessimism about the future. No single person, it is agreed, has only one temperament, although one or the other trait will predominate.