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  • congenial
  • audio pronunciation
  • \kun-JEEN-yul\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

1
: having the same nature, disposition, or tastes : kindred
2
a : existing together harmoniously b : suited to one's nature, tastes, or outlook c : sociable, genial
  • EXAMPLES

Olga found the college's interdisciplinary curriculum congenial to the breadth of her academic interests.

"Visiting a neighbor's home and engaging in congenial conversation is fast becoming a lost art. Polite verbal exchanges once familiar and customary in centuries past have gone the way of electronic surrogates: texting, e-mail and smart phones." -- From an article by Ty Pelfrey in The Union (Grass Valley, California), January 2, 2011

  • DID YOU KNOW?

According to ancient Roman and Greek mythology, each person at birth was assigned a guardian spirit. The Latin name for this attendant spirit was "genius." Two people who get along well together can be thought of as sharing a similar spirit; they might even be described by a word combining the Latin prefix "com-" (meaning "with, together") and "genius." And, indeed, it was this "com-genius" combination that gave rise in the 17th century to the English word "congenial." (The Greek word for the guardian spirit, "daimōn," gave us "eudaemonia," meaning "well-being" or "happiness," but that word is extremely rare.)

Test Your Memory: What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "Under the ___________ of her high school swim coach, Lynn has greatly improved her times"? The answer is ...

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