Medical Definition of Sanguine

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Sanguine: 1) Having a ruddy (reddish) complexion. 2) Cheerful, hopeful, confident, and optimistic; impulsive.

The word "sanguine" from the Latin "sanguineus" for "blood" has long been used in English for things relating to the blood. A person who is ruddy in complexion is sanguine. His (or her) ruddy countenance was once thought to be due to their having a predominance of one of the four humors -- blood.

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Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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