Meaning of sanguinary in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsaŋɡwɪn(ə)ri/

Translate sanguinary into Spanish


mainly archaic
  • Involving or causing much bloodshed.

    ‘they lost heavily in the sanguinary campaigns that followed’
    • ‘There are few more gruesome and sanguinary spectacles than a Tory leadership struggle: one lasting eight months is uncharted territory - a marathon of fear, loathing and betrayal.’
    • ‘Even before this, the reaction of the badly frightened British had been sanguinary and included a revival of the old Mughal punishment of tying captured mutineers over the mouths of cannon and blowing them apart.’
    • ‘Specifically, it might inspire them to revisit the politically arduous and philosophically complex struggle whereby modern liberalism overcame the sanguinary terror of religious conflict in post-Reformation Europe.’
    • ‘This week, however, the fighting was particularly sanguinary, with reported casualties being suffered on both sides.’
    • ‘This time the sanguinary tale takes place in an uncomfortable meeting of her Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witch books.’
    grisly, gruesome, violent, bloodthirsty, bloody, brutal, savage


Middle English (in the sense ‘relating to blood’): from Latin sanguinarius, from sanguis, sanguin- ‘blood’.