sang·​froid | \ ˌsäŋ-ˈf(r)wä How to pronounce sangfroid (audio) , ˈsäⁿ-ˈf(r)wä How to pronounce sangfroid (audio) \

Definition of sangfroid

: self-possession or imperturbability especially under strain

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Choose the Right Synonym for sangfroid

equanimity, composure, sangfroid mean evenness of mind under stress. equanimity suggests a habit of mind that is only rarely disturbed under great strain. accepted her troubles with equanimity composure implies the controlling of emotional or mental agitation by an effort of will or as a matter of habit. maintaining his composure even under hostile questioning sangfroid implies great coolness and steadiness under strain. handled the situation with professional sangfroid

Did You Know?

If you're a lizard, "cold-blooded" means your body temperature is strongly influenced by your environment. If you're an English-speaking human, it means you are callous and unfeeling. If you're a French speaker, it means that you're calm, cool, and collected in stressful situations. By the mid-1700s, English speakers had already been using "cold-blooded" for more than a century, but they must have liked the more positive spin the French put on having "cold blood" because they borrowed the French sang-froid (literally, "cold blood") for someone who is imperturbable under strain. The French term, by the way, developed from the Latin words sanguis ("blood") and "frigidus" ("cold").

Examples of sangfroid in a Sentence

He displayed remarkable sangfroid when everyone else was panicking during the crisis. the professional gambler seemed to take both his wins and his losses with remarkable sangfroid
Recent Examples on the Web Tasked with introducing this franchise's modish, candy-colored universe on screen as well as behind the camera, Banks tackles both roles with remarkable sangfroid. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 15 Nov. 2019 None of this seemed to bother Trump, who continued to smile and wave with his inimitable sangfroid. Emma Specter, Vogue, "Donald Trump Was Booed at a World Series Baseball Game," 28 Oct. 2019 The most distinctive quality in Harry’s book is her sangfroid. Rob Tannenbaum, Los Angeles Times, "Blondie’s Debbie Harry on her #MeToo past: ‘I was younger. I just felt that was Mother Nature’," 30 Sep. 2019 He was known as Joe Cool because of his sangfroid on the field, whether leading comebacks or being so perfect in clutch games that a comeback wasn’t needed. The Si Staff,, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 No team has won consecutive Women's World Cups since the event began in 1991, a reason for sangfroid. Ronald Blum,, "Carli Lloyd's tiny golf clap delivers big message from U.S. women to celebration critics," 16 June 2019 Her horse was startled but the queen, in a remarkable display of her sangfroid and horsewoman’s skills, quickly kept him under control and kept on riding as police rushed behind her to subdue the gunman. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "Duchess Meghan attends Trooping the Colour after skipping Trump visit, Prince Louis makes balcony debut," 8 June 2019 For those concerned about the antiliberal forces gaining strength in world politics, the most important thing is to maintain one’s sangfroid. Mark Lilla, The New York Review of Books, "How to Write About the Right: An Exchange," 17 Jan. 2019 Only Jackie Chan and, more recently, Tom Cruise have inherited this flair and sangfroid. Peter Cowie, WSJ, "High-Octane Cool," 8 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sangfroid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sangfroid

1750, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sangfroid

French sang-froid, literally, cold blood

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The first known use of sangfroid was in 1750

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Cite this Entry

“Sangfroid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for sangfroid


How to pronounce sangfroid (audio) How to pronounce sangfroid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sangfroid

literary : the ability to stay calm in difficult or dangerous situations

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