Definition of sanguine in English:



  • 1Optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation.

    ‘he is sanguine about prospects for the global economy’
    ‘the committee takes a more sanguine view’
    • ‘We are not sanguine that all the conditions can be fulfilled in a timely manner.’
    • ‘It was also sanguine about the economy's prospects in light of strong productivity growth and the stimulus provided by the current accommodative policy stance.’
    • ‘Yet despite its high P / E, brokers were sanguine enough about Autonomy's prospects on Friday, and happy to upgrade the software company.’
    • ‘The Mexican press has been more sanguine about the prospects for the Zapatistas.’
    • ‘She is equally sanguine about the trajectory and acceleration of her band's career, although she understands that it's remarkable that they've gotten this far with so little struggle.’
    • ‘The first is pessimism, the conviction that social transformation is, contrary to the sanguine illusions of the optimists, profoundly difficult.’
    • ‘I am just indicating to you that you may not be justified in taking an entirely sanguine approach that your client's position is entirely separate.’
    • ‘On the fixed-income side, it is now a much less sanguine case of studying balance sheets and deteriorating cash flow positions.’
    • ‘One should not, however, be sanguine about the prospects for such international behavior modification.’
    • ‘I'm intrigued by everything you are saying, because it would sound like you have a generally more sanguine view of the situation than the auditor general did or than the Senate committee did that studied security in Canada.’
    • ‘However, UK operator mmO2 is more sanguine about the prospects for 3G.’
    • ‘This fall, many on Madison Avenue are feeling sanguine about the prospects for TV advertising, the default choice of big marketers.’
    • ‘None of these essays is sanguine about the current situation, but all three offer positive views of the future.’
    • ‘Sara was not sanguine about the prospects, for all of Midgarde had been held too long in thrall.’
    • ‘If you view competition as bad for consumers, you can't have a very sanguine view of their ability to resist corporate come-ons.’
    • ‘While the Spanish government is openly optimistic that the worst has passed, residents and environmentalists were not so sanguine.’
    • ‘Despite the precarious position of the oil market, financial markets remain extraordinarily sanguine in regard to the prospects of another major oil shock.’
    • ‘However, he is positively sanguine about his experiences.’
    • ‘That this in no way reduces his sanguine view of future economic prospects is as unbelievable as it is disconcerting.’
    • ‘DESPITE THIS GOOD NEWS, it is hard to be sanguine about manufacturing's prospects over the long haul.’
    optimistic, bullish, hopeful, buoyant, positive, disposed to look on the bright side, confident, cheerful, cheery, bright, assured
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    1. 1.1(in medieval science and medicine) of or having the constitution associated with the predominance of blood among the bodily humours, supposedly marked by a ruddy complexion and an optimistic disposition.
      • ‘Those of a sanguine constitution, those weakened by famine or those who indulged in hot baths, excessive exercise, work or sexual indulgence (all of which opened the pores to infection) were particularly vulnerable.’
      • ‘Blood predominated in spring, and a person with a natural excess of blood would have a sanguine physical and psychological humoral constitution, or temperament.’
      • ‘So if you've got an excess of black bile, you're melancholy; if there's a lot of blood running through you, you're sanguine.’
      • ‘Jupiter, ruling the sanguine humour from its seat in the liver, is responsible for maintaining the even temper of the humours, thereby facilitating the harmonious flow of Vital Force.’
      ruddy, red, red-faced, reddish, rosy, rosy-cheeked, pink, pinkish, roseate, rubicund
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    2. 1.2archaic (of the complexion) florid or ruddy.
      • ‘Even a sanguine complexion, therefore, did not guarantee rational capacity in a man.’
      • ‘It was his fresh and sanguine complexion, which struck me as a rather bizarre contrast to his flat eyes.’
      ruddy, red, red-faced, reddish, rosy, rosy-cheeked, pink, pinkish, roseate, rubicund
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  • 2Heraldry
    literary Blood-red.

    • ‘Instances later, she was a beautiful young maiden with sanguine hair and a scarlet dress.’
    • ‘He lay sleeping on his king-sized bed, covered under a crimson sheet with the sanguine hat tilted forward onto the bridge of his nose.’
    scarlet, vermilion, ruby, ruby-red, ruby-coloured, cherry, cherry-red, cerise, cardinal, carmine, wine, wine-red, wine-coloured, claret, claret-red, claret-coloured, blood-red
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  • 3archaic Bloody or bloodthirsty.

    • ‘It's terrible that a sword meant to save mankind from tyranny is corrupted to sanguine and destructive ends.’


  • 1[mass noun] A blood-red colour.

    • ‘Most artists who have done much life drawing are familiar with sanguine, usually as a color of conté crayon or colored pencil.’
    1. 1.1A deep red-brown crayon or pencil containing iron oxide.
      • ‘I was aware that sanguine, like the more processed chalks, can be smeared and stomped to create smooth tones; what I didn't know until reading Moore’s article is that the sanguine dust, because it doesn't have the oily binders found in the processed crayons, can be mixed with water to form a kind of ‘ink’, and washed on with a brush or even a pen.’
    2. 1.2Heraldry A blood-red stain used in blazoning.
      • ‘Sanguine and tenne, supposedly, were never used in anything else other than abatements.’


Middle English: from Old French sanguin(e) blood red, from Latin sanguineus of blood, from sanguis, sanguin- blood.