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

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?

The Latin word suffendere, ancestor to suffuse by way of Latin suffūsus, has various meanings that shed light on our modern word, among them "to pour on or in (as an addition)" and "to fill with a liquid, color, or light that wells up from below." Suffundere is a blend of the prefix sub- ("under" or "beneath") and the verb fundere ("to pour" or "to send forth"). Other English 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 There’s melancholy, regret, grief, and disappointment in Julie’s life; for that matter, the inconclusive vagueness and inchoate longings that suffuse the film, that constitute her very character, come off as the nature of life itself. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 7 Feb. 2022 The patterns of flowers, vines, leaves, birds, and other animals suffuse his designs with joy. April Austin, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 Dec. 2021 Each morning the bakers make marvelous sourdough bread whose aromas suffuse the air outside of the little store, which has never seen fit to expand its offerings much beyond a few different loaves of bread and cakes. John Mariani, Forbes, 9 Dec. 2021 Branagh's genuine affection and nostalgia for his subject suffuse the movie; if only the misty romanticism of his story could match it. Leah Greenblatt,, 4 Sep. 2021 Chelsea had lost N’Golo Kanté to an injury at the break, a third cause of regret, and yet his spirit seemed to suffuse his team. New York Times, 28 Aug. 2021 His keen observations about human nature, made in evocative prose, suffuse each page, and his characters prove endearing and memorable. Stefanie Milligan, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 July 2021 Holl’s luminous facades suffuse the building with light, but the absence of windows in the gallery spaces leaves them glare-free. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, 24 June 2021 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,, 27 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About suffuse

Time Traveler for suffuse

Time Traveler

The first known use of suffuse was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About suffuse

Dictionary Entries Near suffuse




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for suffuse

Cite this Entry

“Suffuse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for suffuse


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

More from Merriam-Webster on suffuse

Nglish: Translation of suffuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suffuse for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!