HU'MOR, n. [L. from humeo, to be moist.]1. Moisture; but the word is chiefly used to express the moisture or fluids of animal bodies, as the humors of the eye. But more generally the word is used to express a fluid in its morbid or vitiated state. Hence, in popular speech, we often hear it said,the blood is full of humors. But the expression is not technical nor correct.Aqueous humor of the eye, a transparent fluid, occupying the space between the crystalline lens and the cornea, both before and behind the pupil.Crystalline humor or lens, a small transparent solid body, of a softish consistence, occupying a middle position in the eye, between the aqueous and vitreous humors, and directly behind the pupil. It is of a lenticular form, or with double convex surfaces, and is the principal instrument in refracting the rays of light, so as to form an image on the retina.Vitreous humor of the eye, a fluid contained in the minute cells of a transparent membrane, occupying the greater part of the cavity of the eye, and all the space between the crystalline and the retina.2. A disease of the skin; cutaneous eruptions.3. Turn of mind; temper; disposition, or rather a peculiarity of disposition often temporary; so called because the temper of mind has been supposed to depend on the fluids of the body. Hence we say, good humor; melancholy humor; peevish humor. Such humors, when temporary, we call freaks, whims, caprice. Thus a person characterized by good nature may have a fit of ill humor; and an ill natured person may have a fit of good humor. So we say, it was the humor of the man at the time; it was the humor of the multitude.4. That quality of the imagination which gives to ideas a wild or fantastic turn, and tends to excite laughter or mirth by ludicrous images or representations. Humor is less poignant and brilliant than wit; hence it is always agreeable. Wit,directed against folly, often offends by its severity; humor makes a man ashamed of his follies, without exciting his resentment. Humor may be employed solely to raise mirth and render conversation pleasant, or it may contain a delicate kind of satire. 5. Petulance; peevishness; better expressed by ill humor. Is my friend all perfection? has he not humors to be endured?6. A trick; a practice or habit. I like not the humor of lying.
HU'MOR, v.t. To gratify by yielding to particular inclination, humor,wish or desire; to indulge by compliance. We sometimes humor children to their injury or ruin. The sick,the infirm, and the aged often require to be humored.1. To suit; to indulge; to favor by imposing no restraint, and rather contributing to promote by occasional aids. We say, an actor humors his part, or the piece. It is my part to invent,and that of the musicians to humor that invention.
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