san·​gui·​nary | \ ˈsaŋ-gwə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce sanguinary (audio) \

Definition of sanguinary

1 : bloodthirsty, murderous sanguinary hatred
2 : attended by bloodshed : bloody this bitter and sanguinary war— T. H. D. Mahoney
3 : consisting of blood a sanguinary stream

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Other Words from sanguinary

sanguinarily \ ˌsaŋ-​gwə-​ˈner-​ə-​lē How to pronounce sanguinary (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for sanguinary

bloody, sanguinary, gory mean affected by or involving the shedding of blood. bloody is applied especially to things that are actually covered with blood or are made up of blood. bloody hands sanguinary applies especially to something attended by, or someone inclined to, bloodshed. the Civil War was America's most sanguinary conflict gory suggests a profusion of blood and slaughter. exceptionally gory, even for a horror movie

Examples of sanguinary in a Sentence

a movie so sanguinary that I covered my eyes during at least half of it
Recent Examples on the Web The sanguinary stream in the tapestry may refer to the strife that drove Moufarrege’s family from both Alexandria and Beirut, as the papyrus and the tile pattern would suggest. New York Times, "Word + Quiz: sanguinary," 19 May 2020 The red flag of the revolutionist in Lower California floats from the mast of the Mexican custom house in the Mexican town, the result of by far the most desperate and sanguinary battle yet fought on the Mexican peninsula., "May 9, 1911: Tijuana falls to rebels," 9 May 2018 But even a cursory glance at the news that emanates from the Buddhist world reveals a more sanguinary state of affairs. Amar Diwakar, The New Republic, "Saffron Curtain: How Buddhism Was Weaponized During the Cold War," 23 Mar. 2018 No discriminatory intent should be inferred here; all over the place, in dioramas set up by dealers to pitch their sanguinary wares, soldiers of every nationality and ethnicity were massacring soldiers of every other nationality and ethnicity. Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, "These toy soldiers came ready to fight — but time is running out on their value," 28 Jan. 2018 The sanguinary battles of partisan politics turn pale when compared to the literary tussling taken up in defense of one's favorite noodle natatorium. Troy L. Smith,, "Judas Priest, The Moody Blues finally earn Rock Hall nominations," 5 Oct. 2017 These sanguinary sprinklers use this defense only on members of the dog and cat families, like coyotes or bobcats, but not on birds or reptiles. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "See the Lizard That Shoots Blood From Its Eyes," 23 Sep. 2017 For months the armies have fought battles more sanguinary than Waterloo without making progress except in terms of yards. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "100 Years Later: Popular Mechanics' Coverage of World War I," 6 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sanguinary.' 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 sanguinary

circa 1623, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sanguinary

Latin sanguinarius, from sanguin-, sanguis blood

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The first known use of sanguinary was circa 1623

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Cite this Entry

“Sanguinary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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