adjective ami·a·ble \ ˈā-mē-ə-bəl \
|Updated on: 9 Jul 2018

Definition of amiable

1 a : friendly, sociable, and congenial
  • an amiable host
  • amiable neighbors
b : generally agreeable
  • an amiable comedy
2 archaic : pleasing, admirable


play \ˌā-mē-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun


play \ˈā-mē-ə-bəl-nəs\ noun


play \-blē\ adverb

amiable was our Word of the Day on 05/20/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of amiable in a Sentence

  1. … an amiable man, a gray-headed, fiftyish, good old boy with a long career in media and public relations, and a hellish taste for margaritas … —Denis JohnsonRolling Stone17 Aug. 2000
  2. These strained plot contortions aren't really necessary: the funny, amiable heart of the movie is in the scenes of these tough old duffers scamming their way through the training program. —David AnsenNewsweek14 Aug. 2000
  3. The book pivots around Molly Bonner, an amiable, 40-ish woman whose second husband has just died in a helicopter accident, leaving her grief-struck and rich. —Tad FriendVogueMarch 1997
  4. Gianni Versace is an amiable smoothy with a light touch and a corona of gray hair. —Marie BrennerVanity FairJanuary 1997
  5. Everyone knew him as an amiable fellow.

  6. She had an amiable conversation with her friend.

Recent Examples of amiable from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amiable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

The Roots of amiable Go Back to Love

Amiable derives from the Late Latin adjective amicabilis, meaning "friendly," which in turn comes from the Latin word for "friend" and can ultimately be traced back to amare, meaning "to love." When amiable was adopted into English in the 14th century, it meant "pleasing" or "admirable," but that sense is now obsolete. The current, familiar senses of "generally agreeable" ("an amiable movie") and "friendly and sociable" came centuries later. Amare has also given English speakers such words as amative and amorous (both meaning "strongly moved by love"), amour ("a usually illicit love affair"), and even amateur (which originally meant "admirer").

Origin and Etymology of amiable

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin amicabilis friendly, from Latin amicus friend; akin to Latin amare to love

Synonym Discussion of amiable

amiable, good-natured, obliging, complaisant mean having the desire or disposition to please. amiable implies having qualities that make one liked and easy to deal with.
    • an amiable teacher not easily annoyed
good-natured implies cheerfulness or helpfulness and sometimes a willingness to be imposed upon.
    • a good-natured girl who was always willing to pitch in
obliging stresses a friendly readiness to be helpful.
    • our obliging innkeeper found us a bigger room
complaisant often implies passivity or a yielding to others because of weakness.
    • was too complaisant to protest a decision he thought unfair

AMIABLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of amiable for English Language Learners

  • : friendly and pleasant

AMIABLE Defined for Kids


adjective ami·a·ble \ ˈā-mē-ə-bəl \

Definition of amiable for Students

: having a friendly and pleasant manner


\-blē\ adverb
  • She greeted us amiably.

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to grant as a privilege or special favor

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