1

sanguine

adjective san·guine \ ˈsaŋ-gwən \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of sanguine

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 1humor 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

sanguinely

adverb

sanguineness

play \ˈsaŋ-gwən-nəs\ noun

sanguinity

play \saŋ-ˈgwi-nə-tē, san-\ noun

sanguine was our Word of the Day on 02/19/2018. Hear the podcast!

Examples of sanguine in a Sentence

  1. He has been strangely sanguine about this, blandly ignoring the mounting evidence that dissident elements in the police are stirring trouble … —Allister SparksWashington Post9–15 Mar. 1992
  2. 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 SheehanA Bright Shining Lie1988
  3. Yet if there were sanguine expectations of war profits and unlimited booty from the Spanish empire, … those hopes were dramatically confounded … —Simon SchamaThe Embarrassment of Riches1988
  4. 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 HimmelfarbThe New History and the Old1987
  5. She has a sanguine disposition.

  6. He is sanguine about the company's future.

Recent Examples of sanguine from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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!

Origin and Etymology of sanguine

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


2

sanguine

noun san·guine \ ˈsaŋ-gwən \

Definition of sanguine

: a moderate to strong red

Recent Examples of sanguine from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of sanguine


SANGUINE Defined for English Language Learners

sanguine

Definition of sanguine for English Language Learners

  • : confident and hopeful


Medical Dictionary

sanguine

adjective san·guine \ ˈsaŋ-gwən \

medical Definition of sanguine

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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very hard to disturb or upset

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