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

Definition of sangfroid

: self-possession or imperturbability especially under strain

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 But though the markets have long since recovered their sangfroid after the crisis of 2008-09, the trend growth rate of developed economies has never regained its strength. The Economist, "Lessons to a columnist’s previous self," 12 May 2018 Both revealed for the first time, in great detail, with sangfroid and in-depth analysis, the machinery of the concentration camps. Longreads, "When Sartre and Beauvoir Started a Magazine," 10 Apr. 2018 Here, he is shown rising through native intelligence and sangfroid to kingpin status in terrorist organizations like the Kashmiri Harkat-ul-Ansar and al-Qaeda. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Omerta': Film Review | Mumbai 2017," 13 Nov. 2017 To wit, film producer Brian Grazer who who worked closely with Rosenberg on 2002’s 8 Mile at at a time when there seemed endless amounts of hype and controversy swirling about the rap superstar, fondly recalls Rosenberg's sangfroid. Andy Gensler, Billboard, "Def Jam (And The Industry) Bets On Paul Rosenberg, Music Execs (and Brian Grazer) Weigh In," 11 Aug. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of sangfroid

1750, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sangfroid

French sang-froid, literally, cold blood

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sangfroid

Listen to Our Podcast about sangfroid

Dictionary Entries near sangfroid



San Germán





Statistics for sangfroid

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sangfroid

The first known use of sangfroid was in 1750

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sangfroid



English Language Learners Definition of sangfroid

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sangfroid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sangfroid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sangfroid

Comments on sangfroid

What made you want to look up sangfroid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!