suf·​fuse | \ sə-ˈfyüz How to pronounce suffuse (audio) \
suffused; suffusing

Definition of suffuse

transitive verb

: 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

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Other Words from suffuse

suffusion \ sə-​ˈfyü-​zhən How to pronounce suffuse (audio) \ noun
suffusive \ sə-​ˈfyü-​siv How to pronounce suffuse (audio) , -​ziv \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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."

Examples of suffuse in a Sentence

Morning light suffused the room. she was suffused with an overwhelming feeling of liberation as her horse broke into a gallop
Recent Examples on the Web The private automobiles, symbolic referents to which also suffuse the work, are led by guides in funereal procession through different stations in varying sections of the garage. Chris Jones,, "Review: Lyric Opera’s ‘Twilight: Gods’ is a drive-through Wagnerian hellscape in an underground garage," 27 Apr. 2021 Reconsideration of the stereotypes and bigotry that suffuse these films. Nicholas Goldberg, Star Tribune, "Those bad old tropes: Cancel or critique?," 28 Mar. 2021 Its ethos came to suffuse the entirety of his broader economic agenda, known as Build Back Better. New York Times, "The Biden Team Wants to Transform the Economy. Really.," 11 Feb. 2021 To scientists, the idea of ginning up a super race of mice or suffusing Earth's atmosphere with aerosolized mirrors might seem promising; to many of the rest of us, these ideas trip bad wires. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "What Plant-Based Burgers Can Teach Us About Saving the Planet," 1 Apr. 2020 The plummeting temperatures give rise to high-altitude clouds suffused with the CFCs still swirling in Earth’s atmosphere, which then rasp away at the nearby ozone. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why This Rare, Huge Ozone Hole Over the Arctic Is Troubling Scientists," 1 Apr. 2020 Before dawn one day last month a headache-inducing chemical stench suffused the neighborhood as a child waited for a school bus. Ellen Knickmeyer, Houston Chronicle, "'They're killing us,' Texas residents say of Trump rollbacks," 19 Apr. 2020 Christ—essentially, God’s love for the world—has existed since the beginning of time, suffuses everything in creation, and has been present in all cultures and civilizations. Eliza Griswold, The New Yorker, "Richard Rohr Reorders the Universe," 2 Feb. 2020 Murray’s future, full of bizarre yet plausible changes, is suffused with a palpable grittiness. Washington Post, "There’s no shortage of novels about what happens when the Earth stops spinning. ‘The Last Day’ may set a new standard.," 10 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of suffuse

1590, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for suffuse

borrowed from Latin suffūsus, past participle of suffundere "to pour on or in (as an addition), cause (a liquid, color, light) to well up or rise to the surface, fill with a liquid, color or light that wells up from below," from suf-, assimilated form of sub- sub- + fundere "to pour, shed, cast, send forth, disperse" — more at found entry 5

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Time Traveler for suffuse

Time Traveler

The first known use of suffuse was in 1590

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Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Suffuse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for suffuse



English Language Learners Definition of suffuse

literary : to spread over or fill (something)


transitive verb
suf·​fuse | \ sə-ˈfyüz How to pronounce suffuse (audio) \
suffused; suffusing

Medical Definition of suffuse

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

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