Word of the Day

congenial

audio pronunciation
February 22, 2011
adjective
\kun-JEEN-yul\
Definition
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
Subscribe
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
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 ...
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
Podcast
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears