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

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."

Examples of sanguine in a Sentence

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
In Thomasville, not all business owners are sanguine about the filming that has arrived. Matt Stevens, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2024 Flying between his home in the suburbs north of Seattle and the Boras Corporation headquarters in Southern California, Snell’s anxiety over remaining unsigned turned into a sanguine focus on his preparations for the season. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 20 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for sanguine 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sanguine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

sanguine

adjective
san·​guine
ˈsaŋ-gwən
1
: having the color of blood
2
3
: cheerful sense 1a, hopeful
a sanguine disposition
4
: confident, optimistic
sanguine of success
sanguinely adverb
sanguinity
saŋ-ˈgwin-ət-ē
san-
noun
Etymology

Adjective

Middle English sanguin "having the color of blood," from early French sanguin (same meaning), from Latin sanguineus (same meaning), from sanguin-, sanguis "blood" see Word History at humor

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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