- A term used in the 18th and 19th centuries pertaining to bad digestion, stomach pains, constipation, and excessive flatulence (passing gas). The quantity or quality of the bile was thought to be at fault for the condition. Hence, the name "biliousness." ("Bilious" derives from the French "bilieux," which in turn came from "bilis," the Latin term for "bile.") Biliousness was generally laid to high living. The "cure" was moderation and frequent visits to the doctor.
* * *An imprecisely delineated congestive disturbance with anorexia, coated tongue, constipation, headache, dizziness, pasty complexion, and, rarely, slight jaundice; assumed to result from hepatic dysfunction.
* * *bil·ious·ness (bilґyəs-nis) a symptom complex formerly attributed to excessive secretion of bile, consisting of nausea, abdominal discomfort, headache, and constipation.
Medical dictionary. 2011.