sanguine

1 of 2

adjective

san·​guine ˈsaŋ-gwən How to pronounce sanguine (audio)
1
: marked by eager hopefulness : confidently optimistic
In the month of August 1994, Democrats remained sanguine about their chances at the polls … John B. Judis
A lot of attention also is being devoted to the development of vaccines to prevent genital herpes, although not everyone is sanguine about the outcome. The Journal of the American Medical Association
2
: bloodred
… the radiant heat from the cedar logs, whose sanguine colour made the silvered locks of his hair into a fantastic wreath of flames. Elinor Wylie
3
a
: consisting of or relating to blood
… some sanguine vessels are obstructed, and distended … Theophilus Lobb
b
: bloodthirsty, sanguinary
… attacked by the sanguine … warriors of neighboring islands … Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas
c
: accompanied by, involving, or relating to bloodshed : bloody
… from the numerous graves, including those by the barn, which our shells had destroyed; we realized what a sanguine battle it had been … Frederick W. Wild
d
of the complexion : ruddy
She was all unnerved; her naturally sanguine complexion was pale … Charlotte Brontë
4
: having blood as the predominating bodily humor see humor entry 1 sense 2c
An abundance of red blood was marked by a warm and sanguine temperament; whereas, an excess of yellow bile produced the choleric temperament … Samuel Lytler Metcalfe
also : having the bodily conformation and temperament held characteristic of such predominance and marked by sturdiness, healthy red complexion, and cheerfulness
He conceived himself rather as a sanguine and strenuous man, a great fighter. G. K. Chesterton
sanguinely adverb
sanguineness noun
sanguinity noun

sanguine

2 of 2

noun

san·​guine ˈsaŋ-gwən How to pronounce sanguine (audio)
: a moderate to strong red

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Did you know?

If you're the sort of cheery soul who always looks on the bright side no matter what happens, you have a sanguine personality. Sanguine is the name of one of the temperaments that ancient and medieval scholars believed was caused by an abundance of one of the four humors. It comes from sanguineus—Latin for "of or relating to blood" or "bloody"—and over centuries has had meanings ranging from "bloodthirsty" and "bloodred" to "confidently optimistic."

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Example Sentences

Adjective He has been strangely sanguine about this, blandly ignoring the mounting evidence that dissident elements in the police are stirring trouble … Allister Sparks, Washington Post, 9–15 Mar. 1992 How could a man of his caliber be this sanguine about a war we had barely begun to fight? He gave me the McNamara look, eyes focusing boldly through rimless glasses. "Every quantitative measurement we have shows that we're winning this war," he said. Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lie, 1988 Yet if there were sanguine expectations of war profits and unlimited booty from the Spanish empire, … those hopes were dramatically confounded … Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches, 1988 He does not pretend to be sanguine about our prospects. History itself, he reminds us, provides few examples of cultures as debilitated as ours which were not destroyed by the very forces they set in motion. Gertrude Himmelfarb, The New History and the Old, 1987 She has a sanguine disposition. He is sanguine about the company's future. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Klaus Mueller, president of Germany’s network regulator, was not so sanguine. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 21 July 2022 Not everyone has been so sanguine about insurers’ tougher policies on claims. Jonathan Cheng, WSJ, 16 Mar. 2022 Ali Partovi, a longtime early-stage startup investor, remains sanguine. Heather Somerville, WSJ, 31 July 2022 While local government officials in cities like Shanghai seem to embrace the concept, announcing their intention to encourage its application in public services, social entertainment, games, and manufacturing, others are far less sanguine. Wired, 20 July 2022 Privately, other congressional Democrats have been less sanguine about Mr. Biden’s age and his overall performance in office. WSJ, 19 June 2022 Frank Schwope, analyst with Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, was less sanguine. Neil Winton, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 Milena remembers her mother being relatively sanguine about her rejections. Hannah Williams, The New Yorker, 28 July 2022 Others are less sanguine about the scale of the task ahead. Gregor Stuart Hunter, Fortune, 29 June 2022
Noun
But the rest of the production was far from sanguine. Mark Peikert, Town & Country, 28 Jan. 2022 Indeed, as director Amy Berg’s documentary reminds us, his fans are not exactly known for being laid-back and sanguine in the face of criticism of their idol. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Jan. 2022 The song grapples with the self-doubt that emerges as a product of the creative process, and serves as a sanguine take on a common artist’s dilemma. Taylor Mims, Billboard, 18 Jan. 2022 The hunter's moon, which follows the harvest moon, was also called the travel, dying grass, sanguine or blood moon by Algonquin tribes. Julia Musto, Fox News, 20 Oct. 2021 The designs of Indian miniatures were first drawn in rough outline in charcoal, which was subsequently painted over with sanguine followed by a very thin coat of white priming. Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2021 Yet on Wall Street, the scene is the other kind of sanguine: The stock has slipped into the red for the year. Hannah Levitt, Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2019 But not all involved with the legal defense are sanguine that Giuliani can succeed where others have failed. Gloria Borger, CNN, 20 Apr. 2018 Here, there are more than 90 options ranging from yuzu to orange sanguine, speculoos to fig. Kristen Bateman, Vogue, 7 July 2017 See More

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

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Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

Middle English sanguin, from Anglo-French, from Latin sanguineus, from sanguin-, sanguis — see sanguinary

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sanguine was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sanguine

Cite this Entry

“Sanguine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanguine. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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Medical Definition

sanguine

adjective

san·​guine ˈsaŋ-gwən How to pronounce sanguine (audio)
1
a
: consisting of or relating to blood
b
of the complexion : ruddy
2
: having blood as the predominating bodily humor
also : having the bodily conformation and temperament held characteristic of such predominance and marked by sturdiness, high color, and cheerfulness

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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2022

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