SKIP TO CONTENT

sanguine

If you're sanguine about a situation, that means you're optimistic that everything's going to work out fine.

Sanguine is from Latin sanguis "blood" and originally meant "bloody" — in medieval medicine it described someone whose ruddy complexion was a sign of an optimistic outlook. That was back when people thought that "bodily humors" like blood were responsible for your attitudes. Now that we no longer believe in humors, sanguine has settled down as a fancy way to say someone is cheerfully confident. Experts are frequently described as feeling sanguine about a political or economic situation — or not sanguine, if they think we're going to hell in a handbasket.

Definitions of sanguine
  1. adjective
    confidently optimistic and cheerful
    Synonyms:
    optimistic
    expecting the best in this best of all possible worlds
  2. adjective
    inclined to a healthy reddish color often associated with outdoor life
    “a fresh and sanguine complexion”
    synonyms: florid, rubicund, ruddy
    healthy
    having or indicating good health in body or mind; free from infirmity or disease
  3. noun
    a blood-red color
    see moresee less
    type of:
    red, redness
    red color or pigment; the chromatic color resembling the hue of blood
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week