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 suffusion (audio) \ noun
suffusive \ sə-​ˈfyü-​siv How to pronounce suffusive (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

Nostalgia for that lost era has suffused our politics since the 1970s. David Von Drehle, Twin Cities, "David Von Drehle: Everyone acts like America is in decline. Let’s look at the numbers.," 6 June 2019 Nostalgia for that lost era has suffused our politics since the 1970s. David Von Drehle, Twin Cities, "David Von Drehle: Everyone acts like America is in decline. Let’s look at the numbers.," 6 June 2019 Nostalgia for that lost era has suffused our politics since the 1970s. David Von Drehle, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: United States lifted the world without losing ground," 5 June 2019 Some were suffused with vitamin C; others with cucumber or rooibos tea extract. Alice Gregory, Allure, "I Got Fillers for My Chronic Undereye Circles, and the Results Were Impressive," 28 Apr. 2019 Chic design devotees from around the world crowd the streets and cafés, suffusing the city with an inescapable buoyant energy. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "The Most Mesmerizing Design Moments of Salone del Mobile," 18 Apr. 2019 Few had written about the sea the way Forster did: thick, impenetrable fogs; giant waves, whipped into spirals by punishing winds; fields of ice suffused with purple as darkness fell; columns of white light illuminating the sky at night. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, "‘Georg Forster’ Review: In Search of Earthly Paradise," 22 Feb. 2019 Historical tragedy mixes with contemporary chaos, interspersed with performance footage and interviews suffused with Presley’s trademark charisma, creating a disjointed experience. Kimber Myers,, "In the documentary 'The King,' Eugene Jarecki hits the road to explore byways branching from Elvis Presley to Trump's America," 28 June 2018 Among the pleasures of Ms. Smyth’s book is the chance to revisit Woolf’s most autobiographical novel, which is suffused with nostalgia. Heller Mcalpin, WSJ, "‘All the Lives We Ever Lived’ Review: Catching Hold of Vital Moments," 18 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for suffuse

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suffuse

The first known use of suffuse was in 1590

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on suffuse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suffuse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suffuse

Spanish Central: Translation of suffuse

Nglish: Translation of suffuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suffuse for Arabic Speakers

Comments on suffuse

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showing courage and determination

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