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I was looking for the Spanish for blush and found sonrojo along with the corresponding verb sonrojar. I was happy with that until I tried using Google Translate which gave me rubor. Dictionaries give both words as synonyms. I want to know if they're truly synonymous or just a matter of where you live? I'd be more inclined toward finding out the Latin American usage, although Iberian Spanish is also welcome.

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Both terms are complete synonyms. Rubor may have some poetic connotations that sonrojar has not.

Note that some online dictionaries would state that rubor is

A response of body tissues to irritation.

While for the DRAE's Rubor is not the case, and is just a reddish coloration due to shame or embarrassment.

Me vas a hacer sonrojar

Me voy a ruborizar

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    In addition, sonrojar is more common in the spoken language, whereas rubor is not. Rubor is mostly used for blush makeup as correctly pointed out by @EduardoRT. – Jorge Bucaran Nov 12 '14 at 7:09
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    The blush makeup meaning of rubor is not used in Spain, where we use colorete for the makeup. Wordreference points out that meaning of rubor is restricted to Colomnia and Mexico. – Lucas Nov 12 '14 at 10:18
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They're not complete synonyms, since "rubor" also applies to this kind of makeup (since it looks like you're blushing).this one

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El rubor es el tono enrojecido del rostro. Puede ser por salud, estado de ánimo o maquillaje. Viene del latín "ruber" (rojo), del que derivan otras palabras españolas como rúbrica, rubí, rubeola y rubio.

El sonrojo siempre es consecuencia de una vergüenza (o "pena", como le dicen en algunas variedades, ¿creo que el antillano?). En cambio el rubor, pese a que generalmente es sinónimo de sonrojo, también se puede usar sin estar acompañado de la vergüenza.

Por ejemplo, "el bebé está ruboroso" es el que se ve saludable porque tiene las mejillas rosadas. No se podría decir "el bebé está sonrojado", porque a esa edad los niños no demuestran esas emociones.

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  • +1, completamente cierto en lo que respecta al uso para mostrar sentimientos. Sin embargo, por lo menos donde yo vengo, la gente no favorece el uso de ruboroso y usaría "el bebé tiene las mejillas sonrojadas" en lugar de "ruboroso" o sonrojado" para referirse a su aspecto. Podemos incluso llegar a decir "estás rojo (o te has puesto rojo)" antes que "estás ruborizado" a alguien que tiene las mejillas rojas, por ejemplo debido al esfuerzo físico. – Diego Nov 12 '14 at 13:11

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