verb suf·fuse \ sə-ˈfyüz \
|Updated on: 19 Aug 2018

Definition of suffuse

suffused; suffusing
: to spread over or through in the manner of fluid or light : flush, fill
  • the northern horizon was suffused with a deep red glow
  • —P. M. Leschak


play \sə-ˈfyü-zhən\ noun


play \sə-ˈfyü-siv, -ziv\ adjective

suffuse was our Word of the Day on 07/29/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of suffuse in a Sentence

  1. Morning light suffused the room.

  2. she was suffused with an overwhelming feeling of liberation as her horse broke into a gallop

Recent Examples of suffuse from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suffuse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

If you are cold or embarrassed, your cheeks may become suffused with a red glow, as though coated on one side with paint. This is reflected in the word’s etymology. Suffuse derives from Latin suffundere, meaning "to pour beneath," a blend of the prefix sub- ("under") and fundere ("to pour"). Other verbs related to fundere continue the theme of pouring or spreading: diffuse ("to pour out and spread freely"), effuse ("to pour or flow out"), transfuse ("to cause to pass from one to another"), and the verb fuse itself when it's used to mean "to meld or join."

Origin and Etymology of suffuse

Latin suffusus, past participle of suffundere, literally, to pour beneath, from sub- + fundere to pour — more at found

Synonym Discussion of suffuse

infuse, suffuse, imbue, ingrain, inoculate, leaven mean to introduce one thing into another so as to affect it throughout. infuse implies a pouring in of something that gives new life or significance.
    • new members infused enthusiasm into the club
suffuse implies a spreading through of something that gives an unusual color or quality.
    • a room suffused with light
imbue implies the introduction of a quality that fills and permeates the whole being.
    • imbue students with intellectual curiosity
ingrain, used only in the passive or past participle, suggests the deep implanting of a quality or trait.
    • clung to ingrained habits
inoculate implies an imbuing or implanting with a germinal idea and often suggests stealth or subtlety.
    • an electorate inoculated with dangerous ideas
leaven implies introducing something that enlivens, tempers, or markedly alters the total quality.
    • a serious play leavened with comic moments

SUFFUSE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of suffuse for English Language Learners

  • : to spread over or fill (something)

Medical Dictionary


transitive verb suf·fuse \ sə-ˈfyüz \

medical Definition of suffuse

suffused; suffusing
: to flush or spread over or through in the manner of a fluid and especially blood

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fullness to the point of excess

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