Word of the Day: Complexion

complexion

com-plex-ion / kəm-plĕk-shən

 

noun

1. the general appearance, character, nature or aspect

The mind does not take its complexion from the skin.

Frederick Douglass, 1818 – 1895

 

2. the natural color, texture and general appearance of the skin, particularly that of the face

If any personal description of me is thought desirable, it may be said, I am, in height, six feet, four inches, nearly; lean in flesh, weighing on an average one hundred and eighty pounds; dark complexion, with coarse black hair, and grey eyes -- no other marks or brands recollected.

Abraham Lincoln, 1809 - 1865

 

3. an attitude, tendency or belief

There is no beautifier of complexion or form of behavior like the wish to scatter joy, and not pain, around us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 - 1882

 

4. in medieval physiology, the body’s temperament and makeup which was determined by the specific combination of the four humors

Let melancholy rule supreme,

Choler preside, or blood or phlegm,

It makes no diff’rence in the case,

Nor is complexion honour’s place.

From “To Stella – Visiting Me in My Sickness, 1720”, ‘The Works of Jonathan Swift’, by Jonathan Swift, 1667 - 1745

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