sanguine

adjective
san·​guine | \ ˈsaŋ-gwən How to pronounce sanguine (audio) \

Definition of sanguine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
3a : 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 2a 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

sanguine

noun
san·​guine | \ ˈsaŋ-gwən How to pronounce sanguine (audio) \

Definition of sanguine (Entry 2 of 2)

: a moderate to strong red

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sanguine

Adjective

sanguinely adverb
sanguineness \ ˈsaŋ-​gwən-​nəs How to pronounce sanguineness (audio) \ noun
sanguinity \ saŋ-​ˈgwi-​nə-​tē How to pronounce sanguinity (audio) , san-​ \ noun

Did You Know?

Adjective

Sanguine has quite a few relatives in English. Sangfroid ("self-possession especially under strain") and sanguineous ("bloodthirsty") are consanguineous with sanguine. (Consanguineous, means "descended from the same ancestor.") The tie that binds these words is sanguis, the Latin word for blood. Exsanguination ("the draining or losing of blood"), sanguinary ("murderous" or "bloody"), and the rare sangsue ("leech") and sanguinolent ("tinged with blood") are also sanguis relatives. That's something you can raise a glass of sangaree or sangria ("a usually iced punch made of red wine, fruit juice, and soda water") to!

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Stock investors may be sanguine, but check out bond investors, the Eeyores of Wall Street. Larry Edelman, BostonGlobe.com, "The Fed can only do so much to contain the damage from Trump’s trade war," 20 June 2019 Investors shouldn’t be too sanguine about lowered expectations for Apple’s fiscal first-quarter results scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, though. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Apple Can’t Just Phone It In," 27 Jan. 2019 Some others were more sanguine, noting that Justice Roberts left the door open to other challenges in a recent opinion that returned the Wisconsin case to a lower court on technical grounds. Michael Wines, New York Times, "Kennedy’s Retirement Could Threaten Efforts to End Partisan Gerrymandering," 30 June 2018 That is a dramatic reversal from a year ago, when executives were sanguine about the risk of recession, ranking it their 19th concern overall out of 28 issues, below issues like outdated infrastructure, workforce diversity and income inequality. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "CEOs Say Recession Is Top Worry for 2019," 16 Jan. 2019 Private economists are a bit less sanguine, helping to explain their slightly lower projection for interest rates. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Economists Expect Fed to Continue Raising Rates Through 2019," 15 Nov. 2018 Why are markets so sanguine about a trade war that could affect hundreds of billions of dollars in international commerce? Matt Phillips, The Seattle Times, "As trade war escalates, stock markets shrug — here’s why," 18 Sep. 2018 The main reason traders are so sanguine is that the U.S. has been in a natural-gas glut for the past decade. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Don’t Get Complacent About Natural Gas," 1 Aug. 2018 Factory owners, meanwhile, seem sanguine about that possibility. Maya Singer, Vogue, "Until Western Brands Take a Stand, the Lives of Bangladeshi Garment Workers Are at Risk," 4 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But not all involved with the legal defense are sanguine that Giuliani can succeed where others have failed. Gloria Borger, CNN, "Trump legal team brings fresh firepower to reset with Mueller," 20 Apr. 2018 Here, there are more than 90 options ranging from yuzu to orange sanguine, speculoos to fig. Kristen Bateman, Vogue, "Choux, Confitures, and Caviar: The Best Specialty Food Shops in Paris," 7 July 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of sanguine

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sanguine

Adjective and Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sanguine

Listen to Our Podcast about sanguine

Statistics for sanguine

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sanguine

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sanguine

sanguine

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sanguine

formal : confident and hopeful

sanguine

adjective
san·​guine | \ ˈsaŋ-gwən How to pronounce sanguine (audio) \

Medical Definition of sanguine

1a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sanguine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sanguine

Spanish Central: Translation of sanguine

Nglish: Translation of sanguine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sanguine

Comments on sanguine

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

WORD OF THE DAY

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?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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