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 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

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 sanguine (audio) \ noun
sanguinity \ saŋ-​ˈgwi-​nə-​tē How to pronounce sanguine (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 The new syringe swaps the sanguine color palette for a more versatile blue-gray hue, and gets rid of the droplet of blood. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "The 'Vaccine' Emoji Gets a New Look This Week," 27 Apr. 2021 Even in the most harrowing interview moments of Dancing With the Devil, Lovato is sanguine, charming, and solutions-oriented. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Demi Lovato and the Dangers of Confessional Entertainment," 24 Mar. 2021 Nonetheless, while most investors appear sanguine about the prospects for the economy this year, there is greater uncertainty about what will follow next year and beyond. Nick Sargen, Forbes, "Are Equity Investors More Keynesian Or Supply Side Oriented?," 9 Apr. 2021 The actions of very online hashtaggers stanning for particular versions (ahem) aside, the most ardent devotees are sanguine about canon. Adam Rogers, Wired, "Falcons, Lokis, Nerd Canons, and Why You Don’t Have to Care," 6 Apr. 2021 The two Republicans — Rep. Dean Urdahl of Grove City and Sen. Dave Senjem of Rochester — are more sanguine about the bonding supermajority. Star Tribune, "The politics of obstruction, Minnesota-style," 3 Apr. 2021 In June, Moody’s was mostly sanguine about the US debt burden. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Does the US still deserve its AAA credit ratings?," 11 Mar. 2021 Other companies, many of whom are reliant on the mainland market or Hong Kong’s role as a finance hub, have been more sanguine about prospects following China’s efforts to restore social stability. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "China All but Ends Hong Kong Democracy With ‘Patriots Only’ Rule," 11 Mar. 2021 Officials like Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have been sanguine about the likelihood of a short-term bump in inflation later this year as the economy revs back up. NBC News, "Wall Street breathes sigh of relief as consumer prices rose only modestly," 10 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "As Wells Fargo seeks a new CEO, it loses $24 billion in market value," 20 Aug. 2019 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

Time Traveler for sanguine

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about sanguine

Statistics for sanguine

Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sanguine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanguine. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!