• (Especially of someone’s face) Having a ruddy complexion; high-colored.

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Example Sentences

“Santa’s signature look includes a red suit, white beard, rubicund cheeks, and a belly like a bowl full of jelly.”

“A good workout will often leave you with a sweaty shirt, a rubicund face, and a better mood.”

“The rubicund cruise ship passengers had clearly spent too much time in the sun with too little sunscreen.”

Word Origin

Latin, mid-15th century

Why this word?

The adjective “rubicund” is used almost exclusively to describe having a red face. People have been applying red tint to their cheeks for centuries (if not millennia), likely in an attempt to appear more youthful and healthful. Before it was possible to purchase any shade of blush ranging from pale pink to coral to deep burgundy, people would make their own cosmetics to achieve a rubicund glow. These products were made of materials including crushed mulberries, red sandalwood, carmine (harvested from insects), and beet juice. Some early cosmetic ingredients are now known to be extremely toxic, but others, such as carmine, are still used today.

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