Someone or something sanguine is hopeful, optimistic, cheerful, and confident.
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a sanguine outlook.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "Their outlook was sanguine.”)
How to use it:
"Sanguine" is a good alternative if you say "optimistic" too much, or if you want to emphasize the cheerfulness of someone's positive expectations.
Although you can talk about a person who's sanguine by nature, or sanguine all the time, it's more common to talk about being sanguine about a particular situation or issue: "He's sanguine about his diagnosis."
Less commonly, you could be sanguine on an issue or be sanguine over something that happened: "She's sanguine on the mounting debts, certain she'll be able to reduce them." "They remain sanguine over the news, sure that the problem is an opportunity in disguise."
You can even be sanguine that something will happen: "Are you sanguine that this investment will be a wise one?"
Lastly, you can have a sanguine view, a sanguine outlook, a sanguine vision of the future, etc.
Evidence of the termite infestation put us in a terrible mood, but the pest control company's reasonable quote for service and yearlong guarantee gave us a more sanguine perspective.
For our second example, let's check out this fun bit of dialogue from the show Firefly, created by Joss Whedon:
"Zoe: You sanguine about the kind of reception we’re apt to receive on an Alliance ship, Cap’n? Mal: Absolutely. What’s sanguine mean? Zoe: Sanguine. Hopeful. Plus, point of interest? It also means bloody. Mal: Well, that pretty much covers all the options, don’t it?"
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "sanguine" means when you can explain it without saying "chipper" or "positive."
Think of a problem or issue that you try to face with hopeful confidence, and fill in the blanks: "I try to be sanguine about _____, but _____ can make it difficult."
Example: "I try to be sanguine about major transitions, like moving, but all those details and everything that can go wrong can make it difficult."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're sampling questions from Orijinz, an awesome series of games about the origins of words, phrases, and quotes. Click here if you want to check them out. They're compact--perfect for stockings. Just saying. :) Try a question here each day this month, and see the right answer the next day. Have fun!
"Guess the phrase!
Origin: In the late 18th century, the key word in this phrase referred to a line used as a boundary or starting point in sporting events such as boxing or cricket. By the mid-19th century, it also meant a competitor who received no advantage in a handicapped match. Its broader usage came from this latter meaning.
Definition: From the very beginning; from nothing."
"The phrase is: From scratch.”
"Guess the food!
Origin: The Portuguese slang word for 'bogeyman' inspired this name, since the three holes at the base of this fruit resemble a scary human face."
A Point Well Made:
Richard Feynman: “Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.”
1. The opposite of SANGUINE is
A. CHOLERIC (EASILY ANGERED)
B. MELANCHOLY (GLOOMY)
C. PHLEGMATIC (CALM, SLUGGISH)
2. In a surprisingly sanguine statement, the CEO _____.
A. admitted to guilt
B. outlined a plan to save the failing company
C. revealed the names of all employees who had taken the bribes
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
For today's word, "sanguine," we're focusing on the meaning of "confident of success." But "sanguine" also has lots of meanings related to blood: it can mean blood-red, containing blood, causing bloodshed, etc.
Maybe you're familiar with that medieval theory about how the four humors of the body played a role in people's personalities? According to that old idea, people who often had a reddish face were thought to be cheerful and optimistic.