9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[sang-gwin] /ˈsæŋ gwɪn/
cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident:
a sanguine disposition; sanguine expectations.
reddish; ruddy:
a sanguine complexion.
(in old physiology) having blood as the predominating humor and consequently being ruddy-faced, cheerful, etc.
bloody; sanguinary.
blood-red; red.
Heraldry. a reddish-purple tincture.
a red iron-oxide crayon used in making drawings.
Origin of sanguine
1275-1325; Middle English sanguyne a blood-red cloth < Old French sanguin < Latin sanguineus bloody, equivalent to sanguin-, stem of sanguis blood + -eus -eous
Related forms
sanguinely, adverb
sanguinity, sanguinness, noun
nonsanguine, adjective
nonsanguinely, adverb
nonsanguineness, noun
oversanguine, adjective
oversanguinely, adverb
oversanguineness, noun
presanguine, adjective
quasi-sanguine, adjective
quasi-sanguinely, adverb
supersanguine, adjective
supersanguinity, noun
unsanguine, adjective
unsanguinely, adverb
Can be confused
sanguinary, sanguine.
1. enthusiastic, buoyant, animated, lively, spirited.
1. morose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sanguine
  • First, he's genuinely optimistic the economy will be okay, in part because he's sanguine about the expiration of fiscal stimulus.
  • He makes it anyway, with exacting standards but a sanguine hand.
  • The engineering became more exacting as the songs became vaguer and the voices less sanguine.
  • World markets have, up to this point, been relatively sanguine.
  • Experience on a former occasion teaches us not to be too sanguine in such hopes.
  • Unfortunately, it may be too early to be sanguine about a sustained recovery in trade and thus in the world economy.
  • But this view-essentially, that technological diffusion is a problem that will take care of itself-may be too sanguine.
  • At present they are sanguine about inflation and worried about unemployment, which means a rate rise this year is unlikely.
  • But the public is much less sanguine than the experts.
  • Yet despite its failure to capitalise, the mood at the top of the party is surprisingly sanguine.
British Dictionary definitions for sanguine


cheerful and confident; optimistic
(esp of the complexion) ruddy in appearance
an obsolete word for sanguinary (sense 2)
Also called red chalk. a red pencil containing ferric oxide, used in drawing
Derived Forms
sanguinely, adverb
sanguineness, sanguinity, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin sanguineus bloody, from sanguis blood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sanguine

"blood-red," late 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French sanguin (fem. sanguine), from Latin sanguineus "of blood," also "bloody, bloodthirsty," from sanguis (genitive sanguinis) "blood" (see sanguinary). Meaning "cheerful, hopeful, confident" first attested c.1500, because these qualities were thought in medieval physiology to spring from an excess of blood as one of the four humors. Also in Middle English as a noun, "type of red cloth" (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sanguine in Medicine

sanguine san·guine (sāng'gwĭn)

  1. Of a healthy, reddish color; ruddy.

  2. Cheerfully confident; optimistic.

  3. Having blood as the dominant humor in terms of medieval physiology.

  4. Archaic Having the temperament and ruddy complexion that was formerly thought to be characteristic of a person dominated by this humor; passionate.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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