Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Cheerfully confident; optimistic.
  • adjective At ease; accepting.
  • adjective Having blood as the dominant humor in terms of medieval physiology.
  • adjective Having the temperament and ruddy complexion formerly thought to be characteristic of a person dominated by this humor; passionate.
  • adjective Of the color of blood; red.
  • adjective Of a healthy reddish color; ruddy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of blood; bloody.
  • Bloodthirsty; bloody; sanguinary.
  • Of the color of blood; red; ruddy: as, a sanguine complexion; the sanguine francolin, Ithaginis cruentatus; specifically, in heraldry, same as murrey.
  • Abounding with blood; plethoric; characterized by fullness of habit: as, a sanguine habit of body.
  • Characterized by an active and energetic circulation of the blood; having vitality; hence, vivacious; cheerful; hopeful; confident; ardent; hopefully inclined; habitually confiding: as, a sanguine temperament; to be sanguine of success. See temperament.
  • Synonyms Lively, animated, enthusiastic.
  • noun The color of blood; red; specifically, in heraldry, same as murrey.
  • noun Bloodstone, with which cutlers stained the hilts of swords, etc.
  • noun Anything of a blood-red color, as a garment.
  • noun A drawing executed with red chalks.
  • To stain with blood; ensanguine.
  • To stain or varnish with a color like that of blood; redden.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To stain with blood; to impart the color of blood to; to ensanguine.
  • noun Blood color; red.
  • noun obsolete Anything of a blood-red color, as cloth.
  • noun (Min.) Bloodstone.
  • noun Red crayon. See the Note under Crayon, 1.
  • adjective Having the color of blood; red.
  • adjective Characterized by abundance and active circulation of blood.
  • adjective Warm; ardent.
  • adjective Anticipating the best; cheerfully optimistic; not desponding; confident; full of hope.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having the colour of blood; red.
  • adjective obsolete, physiology Having a bodily constitution characterised by a preponderance of blood over the other bodily humours, thought to be marked by irresponsible mirth; indulgent in pleasure to the exclusion of important matters.
  • adjective Characterized by abundance and active circulation of blood.
  • adjective Warm; ardent.
  • adjective Anticipating the best; optimistic; not despondent; confident; full of hope.
  • noun Blood colour; red.
  • noun Anything of a blood-red colour, as cloth.
  • noun Bloodstone.
  • noun Red crayon. See the Note under crayon, 1.
  • verb To stain with blood; to impart the colour of blood to; to ensanguine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a blood-red color
  • adjective confidently optimistic and cheerful
  • adjective inclined to a healthy reddish color often associated with outdoor life

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, blood-red, dominated by the humor blood, ruddy, from Old French sanguin, from Latin sanguineus, bloody, blood-red, from sanguis, sanguin-, blood.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French sanguin, ultimately from Latin sanguineus ("of blood"), from sanguis ("blood"), of uncertain origin, perhaps Proto-Indo-European *h₁sh₂-én-, from *h₁ésh₂r̥ (“blood”).

Examples

  • Will they remain sanguine when excess reserves increase to $2 trillion?

    The Fed Compounds Its Mistakes

  • If you're not familiar with these terms a sanguine is a naturally outgoing personality who can hold three conversations at once, doesn't like to be alone, is the life of every party and is often said to be a people person.

    'People-ie' More Than Greenie, Hippy Or Any Other 'ie'

  • If you're not familiar with these terms a sanguine is a naturally outgoing personality who can hold three conversations at once, doesn't like to be alone, is the life of every party and is often said to be a people person.

    Archive 2007-09-01

  • One temperament is commonly called sanguine, meaning, literally, “from the blood.”

    If I Really Believe, Why Do I Have These Doubts?

  • But there was no blank despair, and if any felt despondency they suppressed the expression of it, while by far the greatest number of those on board were actually animated, not by the loss itself, but by the accidental nature of the occurrence, to indulge in sanguine expectations of ultimate success.

    The Breaking of the Atlantic Telegraph Cable on Board the Great Eastern

  • It is what artists call a sanguine, a drawing made with a crayon of red ocher that was much favored by Watteau, Boucher, and other artists in the eighteenth century.

    Champlain's Dream

  • It is what artists call a sanguine, a drawing made with a crayon of red ocher that was much favored by Watteau, Boucher, and other artists in the eighteenth century.

    Champlain's Dream

  • Its temperament seems to be sanguine, which is just the opposite of the nervous-combative hooded and spectacled cobra species.

    The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals A Book of Personal Observations

  • Jackson Wells smiled as he recalled his sanguine partner's idea of a treasure-trove concealed and stuffed in the crevices of this tenement, already so palpably picked clean by those wholesome scavengers of

    Openings in the Old Trail

  • In general, top IMF officials were "sanguine" about the growing complexity and dispersion of mortgage-related investments and "praised the United States for its light-touch regulation and supervision that permitted the rapid financial innovation that ultimately contributed to the problems in the financial system."

    Watchdog: IMF's trust in markets, regulators blocked sight of financial crisis

Comments

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  • This is odd - this word seems have been added to 17 Wordie lists in the last week, but it is a the bottom of the list, not the top.

    December 20, 2006

  • Jon Stewart mispronounced this one pretty badly.

    December 21, 2006

  • "Hopeful. Plus, point of interest, it also means 'bloody.'"

    April 12, 2007

  • 'God! what a beauty! what a lovely charming thing!' he exclaimed. 'Haven't they raised it on snails and sour milk, Nelly? Oh damn my soul! but that's worse than I expected--and the devil knows I was not sanguine!'

    --Emily Brontë, 1847, Wuthering Heights

    November 11, 2007

  • the color of blood.

    December 1, 2007

  • This word is etymologically closely related to the word sanguinary which means "bloodthirsty".

    August 21, 2008

  • This, with sepia, is a key colour in classical drawing.

    September 7, 2008

  • I'm amazed this has so many listings. What's the appeal??

    June 1, 2009

  • Blood.

    Also, it's just a pretentious word, I think—like the S word. (I don't like or dislike it much, myself.)

    June 1, 2009

  • Oh, I love this word, just like I love all the words still in use that hark back to medieval concepts about the mind-body-elements-planets relationships: bilious, choleric, melancholic, humorous, saturnine, jovial, mercurial, etc. And I don't think sanguine is pretentious when it's used to mean "optimistic, positive, cheerful, unruffled". Its synonyms don't really convey so directly the same sense that the attitude so discribed relates to something inherent in a person's character. I also like the fact that it comes from a word for "blood" and that it has as a much darker, tragic cousin in the word sanguinary.

    June 1, 2009