showing little emotion
- Abounding in phlegm; because, phlegmatic humors; a phlegmatic constitution.
- creating or causing phlegm.
- Not quickly excited to activity or enthusiasm; cool; dull; slow; hefty; as, a phlegmatic individual.
"cool, calm, self-possessed," plus in an even more pejorative good sense, "cool, dull, apathetic," 1570s, from literal good sense "abounding in phlegm (as a physical laughter)" (mid-14c., fleumatik), from Old French fleumatique (13c., contemporary French flegmatique), from belated Latin phlegmaticus, from Greek phlegmatikos "abounding in phlegm" (see phlegm).A verry flewmatike guy is within the human anatomy lustles, heuy and slow. [John of Trevisa, translation of Bartholomew de Glanville's "De proprietatibus rerum," 1398]
Little is known of the personal part played by Philip in the events associated with his name, and later historians have been divided between the view which regards him as a handsome, lethargic nonentity and that which paints him as a master of statecraft who, under a veil of phlegmatic indifference and pious sentiment, masked an inflexible purpose, of which his ministers were but the spokesmen and executors.