A woman with a very pale complexion.
- When you have very pale white skin, this is an example of a situation where you have a ghostly or ivory complexion.
- When a neighborhood is run down, this is an example of the complexion of the neighborhood.
- Historical the combination of the qualities of cold, heat, dryness, and moisture, or of the four humors, in certain proportions believed to determine the temperament and constitution of the body
- Obs. the temperament or constitution of the body
- the color, texture, and general appearance of the skin, esp. of the face
- general appearance or nature; character; aspect
Origin of complexionMiddle English complexioun from Old French complexion, combination of humors, hence temperament from Classical Latin complexio, combination from complexus: see complex
- The natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, especially of the face.
- General character, aspect, or appearance: findings that will alter the complexion of the problem.
- A viewpoint, inclination, or attitude: a conservative political complexion.
- The combination of the four humors of cold, heat, moistness, and dryness in specific proportions, thought in ancient and medieval physiology to control the temperament and the constitution of the body.
Origin of complexionMiddle English complexioun physical constitution from Old French complexion from Late Latin complexiō complexiōn- balance of the humors from Latin combination from complexus past participle of complectī to entwine ; see complect .
See also skin.achromasia absence of pigmentation in the skin. chlorosis greensickness; a disease of girls in puberty, characterized by, among other symptoms, greenishness of the complexion. erythrism a redness of beard and hair and ruddiness of complexion. —erythristic, erythrismal, adj. erythromania a mania for blushing. etiolation paleness of color as a result of illness or exclusion from light. See also plants. floridity the condition of being florid or highly colored, especially reddish, used especially of the complexion. — florid, adj. greensickness chlorosis. icterus jaundice. jaundice a disease of the liver, characterized by, among other symptoms, yellowness of the skin. Also called icterus. melanism darkness or blackness of eyes, hair, or complexion. rubescence 1. the state, condition, quality, or process of becoming or being red. 2. a blush. 3. the act of blushing. —rubescent, adj. rubicundity reddishness or ruddiness, especially of the complexion. —rubicund, adj. telangiectasis a chronic condition of dilatation of the capillaries and other blood vessels, as seen in the reddish faces of heavy drinkers and people whose faces are continually exposed to cold climates. —telangiectic, adj. xanthochroid a person with light-colored hair and fair complexion. —xanthochroid, xanthochroous, adj.
From Middle English complexion (“temperament”), from Old French complexion, French complexion, from Latin complexio (“a combination, connection, period”), from complecti, past participle complexus (“to entwine, encompass”)