• genial
  • audio pronunciation
  • \JEE-nee-ul\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

1
: favorable to growth or comfort : mild
2
: marked by or diffusing sympathy or friendliness
3
: displaying or marked by genius
  • EXAMPLES

Our genial host immediately offered us refreshments and introduced us to everyone.

"A few years back, in a sleepy hotel bar in Costa Rica, I found myself in one of those late-night conversations in which it felt like my new friend was not telling the whole truth. No doubt the history of this genial, white-haired American emigre was benign, but, still, I remember wondering about his real story…." — From an article by Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune, July 29, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Genial" derives from the Latin adjective "genialis," meaning "connected with marriage." When "genial" was first adopted into English in the mid-16th century, it meant "of or relating to marriage," a sense that is now obsolete. "Genialis" was formed in Latin by combining the "-alis" suffix (meaning "of, relating to, or characterized by") with "genius," meaning "a person's disposition or inclination." As you may have guessed, Latin "genius" is the ancestor of the English word "genius," meaning "extraordinary intellectual power"—so it's logical enough that "genial" eventually developed a sense (possibly influenced by the German word "genial") of "marked by very high intelligence."

Test Your Vocabulary: What is the meaning of the word "avuncular"? The answer is …

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