san·​guin·​e·​ous san-ˈgwi-nē-əs How to pronounce sanguineous (audio)
: of, relating to, or involving bloodshed : bloodthirsty
: of, relating to, or containing blood

Did you know?

Sanguineous isn't the only English adjective to come from "sanguis," the Latin word for "blood." "Sanguine," for one, has been with us since the 14th century. Nowadays, it usually means "confident" or "optimistic," but it can also mean "ruddy." (The "optimistic" sense stems from the medieval belief that a healthy red complexion denoted a courageous and hopeful temperament.) "Sanguineous" first appeared in the 16th century as a synonym of the "ruddy" sense of "sanguine," but now it's more often used in medical or scientific references to blood. It shares another sense - "bloodthirsty" or "involving bloodshed" - with "sanguinary," yet another "sanguis" descendant."

Examples of sanguineous in a Sentence

in the sanguineous culture of ancient Sparta, military glory was prized above all else
Recent Examples on the Web The viral TikTok dance sensation inspired by Wednesday star Jenny Ortega’s quirky moves that is set to the sanguineous 2011 Lady Gaga song has blown up so big that even Mother Monster couldn’t resist throwing her black veil into the ring. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 9 Dec. 2022

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

Word History


Latin sanguineus

First Known Use

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sanguineous was circa 1520


Dictionary Entries Near sanguineous

Cite this Entry

“Sanguineous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


san·​guin·​eous saŋ-ˈgwin-ē-əs How to pronounce sanguineous (audio) san- How to pronounce sanguineous (audio)
: of, relating to, or containing blood
: sanguine sense 2
a sanguineous temperament
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