suf·​fuse | \sə-ˈfyüz \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from suffuse

suffusion \ sə-​ˈfyü-​zhən \ noun
suffusive \ sə-​ˈfyü-​siv , -​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

In contrast, when Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae In in April, the menu consisted of a pan-Korean banquet suffused with symbolism that referenced Moon’s hometown and Kim’s Swiss education, and included cold noodles from Pyongyang. Eli Meixler, Time, "Octopus and Ice Cream: What President Trump and Kim Jong Un Ate at Their First Lunch," 12 June 2018 Bareilles' music — her songs often function as interior monologues and are suffused with hope — was the key factor. Chris Jones,, "In writing the music for 'Waitress,' Sara Bareilles taught musicals a thing or two," 10 July 2018 Roger Federer followed Serena on Centre Court and turned in a Federerian performance, suffused with brilliance if not drama. Jon Wertheim,, "Five Thoughts From Day Five at Wimbledon," 6 July 2018 Nowadays, of course, humans are influencing everything that happens on the earth, an idea that suffuses the show. Thomas Hine,, "Brandywine River Museum's new exhibit finds scary beauty in the realm of decay," 5 July 2018 Stead’s use of charcoal, pastel and crayon adds to the quiet, tender feeling that suffuses the collection. New York Times, "Brief Tales for New Readers and Little Listeners From Philip Stead and More," 29 June 2018 These masters of atmosphere both worked with the legendary Renzo Mongiardino, and like him, their work is suffused with evocative detail. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "With Striking Interior Design, Milan’s Cracco Restaurant Evokes Singular Elegance," 29 June 2018 The Kinnear farm, the site of the murders, is suffused with golden light, and Harron used a Steadicam and rich colors to give the place a dreamlike quality. Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "A Look Beneath the Veil of Alias Grace’s Showstopping Hypnotism," 25 June 2018 Groff, a native northeasterner, moved to the state more than a decade ago after her husband took over his family’s business, and her stories are suffused with a sense of wonder and dread regarding her new habitat. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Florida, Full of Dread," 14 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of suffuse

1590, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for suffuse

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about suffuse

Listen to Our Podcast about suffuse

Statistics for suffuse

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for suffuse

The first known use of suffuse was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for suffuse



English Language Learners Definition of suffuse

: to spread over or fill (something)


transitive verb
suf·​fuse | \sə-ˈfyüz \
suffused; suffusing

Medical Definition of suffuse 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on suffuse

What made you want to look up suffuse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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