1. cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident: a sanguine disposition; sanguine expectations.
2. reddish; ruddy: a sanguine complexion.
3. (in old physiology) having blood as the predominating humor and consequently being ruddy-faced, cheerful, etc.
4. bloody; sanguinary.
5. blood-red; red.
Synonyms: animated, assured, cheerful, confident, enthusiastic, expectant, glowing, hopeful, lively, positive, secure, self-assured, self-confident, spirited, undoubtful, upbeat
Notes: sanguinary means accompanied by bloodshed or eagerness to resort to violence and bloodshed, while sanguine means confidently optimistic and cheerful or inclined to a healthy reddish color
1. Classical Mythology . one of several sea nymphs, part woman and part bird, who lure mariners to destruction by their seductive singing.
2. a seductively beautiful or charming woman, especially one who beguiles men: a siren of the silver screen.
Synonyms: enchantress, seductress, temptress, femme fatale, charmer, diviner, vamp
Notes: The Sirens of Greek mythology are sometimes portrayed in later folklore as fully aquatic and mermaid-like; the fact that in Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Romanian and Portuguese the word for mermaid is respectively Sirena, Sirène, Sirena, Syrena, Sirenă and Sereia, and that in biology the Sirenia comprise an order of fully aquatic mammals that includes the dugong and manatee, add to the visual confusion, so that Sirens are even represented as mermaids. However, “the sirens, though they sing to mariners, are not sea-maidens,” Harrison had cautioned; “they dwell on an island in a flowery meadow.”
According to Ovid (Metamorphoses V, 551), the Sirens were the companions of young Persephone and were given wings by Demeter to search for Persephone when she was abducted. However, the Fabulae of Hyginus rather has Demeter cursing the Sirens for failing to intervene in the abduction of Persephone.
The Sirens might be called the Muses of the lower world, Walter Copland Perry observed: “Their song, though irresistibly sweet, was no less sad than sweet, and lapped both body and soul in a fatal lethargy, the forerunner of death and corruption.” Their song is continually calling on Persephone. The term “siren song” refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result. Later writers have inferred that the Sirens were anthropophagous, based on Circe’s description of them “lolling there in their meadow, round them heaps of corpses rotting away, rags of skin shriveling on their bones.” As Jane Ellen Harrison notes of “The Ker as siren:” “It is strange and beautiful that Homer should make the Sirens appeal to the spirit, not to the flesh.” For the matter of the siren song is a promise to Odysseus of mantic truths; with a false promise that he will live to tell them, they sing,
Once he hears to his heart’s content, sails on, a wiser man.
We know all the pains that the Greeks and Trojans once endured
on the spreading plain of Troy when the gods willed it so—
all that comes to pass on the fertile earth, we know it all!
“They are mantic creatures like the Sphinx with whom they have much in common, knowing both the past and the future,” Harrison observed. “Their song takes effect at midday, in a windless calm. The end of that song is death.” That the sailors’ flesh is rotting away, though, would suggest it has not been eaten. It has been suggested that, with their feathers stolen, their divine nature kept them alive, but unable to feed for their visitors, who starved to death by refusing to leave.
According to Hyginus, sirens were fated to live only until the mortals who heard their songs were able to pass by them.
*Information selected from Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, and Wikipedia.*