san·​guin·​e·​ous | \ san-ˈgwi-nē-əs How to pronounce sanguineous (audio) , saŋ- \

Definition of sanguineous

1 : bloodred
2 : of, relating to, or involving bloodshed : bloodthirsty
3 : of, relating to, or containing blood

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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

First Known Use of sanguineous

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sanguineous

Latin sanguineus

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Time Traveler for sanguineous

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The first known use of sanguineous was circa 1520

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Cite this Entry

“Sanguineous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for sanguineous


san·​guin·​eous | \ saŋ-ˈgwin-ē-əs How to pronounce sanguineous (audio) , san- How to pronounce sanguineous (audio) \

Medical Definition of sanguineous

1 : of, relating to, or containing blood
2 : sanguine sense 2 a sanguineous temperament

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