Word of the Week: Sanguine

Sanguine is an adjective, but it can also be used as a noun, sanguine. When used as an adjective, sanguine is defined as confidently optimistic and cheerful; however, when used as a noun, sanguine is defined as a moderate to strong red

First used around the 14th and 15th centuries, sanguine derives from the Latin word sanguis (blood); other words that derive from sanguis are sangfroid (self-possession especially under strain), sanguineous (bloodthirsty), and sangria (a usually iced punch made of red wine, fruit juice, and soda water). 

You may be curious how sanguine took on the definition of optimistic and cheerful when other words derived from sanguis usually have a darker connotation. Sanguine is a part of the Four Temperament Theory developed by Hippocrates, the temperaments affecting human personality traits include the four bodily fluids sanguine (blood), choleric (yellow bile), melancholic (black bile), and phlegmatic (phlegm). Those with large amounts of yellow or black bile in their system had a bad disposition, while those that were calm and slow had too much phlegm. Individuals that were strong and confident were governed by blood, hence the word sanguine developing the definition of confidently optimistic and cheerful

Synonyms 
Animated, hopeful

Sentence 
Daphnee seemed sanguine about her chances of becoming the next president of her city council.

Main source
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sanguine
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/sanguine-word-history
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_temperaments

If interested in copy editing or proofreading services, email editingbychristina@gmail.com or visit visit editingbychristina.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: