amiable

adjective
ami·​a·​ble | \ ˈā-mē-ə-bəl How to pronounce amiable (audio) \

Definition of amiable

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

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Other Words from amiable

amiability \ ˌā-​mē-​ə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce amiability (audio) \ noun
amiableness \ ˈā-​mē-​ə-​bəl-​nəs How to pronounce amiableness (audio) \ noun
amiably \ ˈā-​mē-​ə-​blē How to pronounce amiably (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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").

Examples of amiable in a Sentence

… 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 Johnson, Rolling Stone, 17 Aug. 2000 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 Ansen, Newsweek, 14 Aug. 2000 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 Friend, Vogue, March 1997 Gianni Versace is an amiable smoothy with a light touch and a corona of gray hair. — Marie Brenner, Vanity Fair, January 1997 Everyone knew him as an amiable fellow. She had an amiable conversation with her friend.
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Recent Examples on the Web The movie mostly bounces along powered by a lunacy that toggles between amiable and sinister. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "‘The Jesus Rolls’ Review: ‘The Big Lebowski’ Character Is on a …," 27 Feb. 2020 At once amiable and articulate, the conductor made the music approachable. Jonathan Rosenberg, WSJ, "Five Best: Jonathan Rosenberg on Music, Politics and Society," 7 Feb. 2020 The other team takes off down the floor and the Knicks’ defenders jog alongside like amiable company. Michael Powell, New York Times, "The Knicks Fired Their Coach. He Isn’t the Guy Who Needs to Go.," 6 Dec. 2019 In December, former music director Leonard Slatkin returned with a program built around ideals of amiable new music and American classics. Washington Post, "At the Kennedy Center, Eschenbach casts the NSO in standard but staunch roles," 25 Jan. 2020 Playing Mitch Kessler, a TV host fired after news of his abuses broke in The New York Times, Steve Carell seemed to relish inhabiting the role of an amiable, beloved monster. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "What Went Wrong With The Morning Show?," 21 Dec. 2019 Carlson-Wee is congenitally polite and amiable, which may reflect his upbringing as the child of idealistic Lutheran pastors, and having two poets as brothers. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Crypto’s Crown Prince Survived ‘The Craziest Bubble Ever.’ Now He’s Ready For a Second Act," 11 Dec. 2019 An amiable young man (Yûjirô Ishihara) gets it into his head to sail solo from Osaka to San Francisco. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Harvard Film Archive floats some boats with 2019 overnight movie marathon," 22 Aug. 2019 In a brief meeting with local reporters, Fleck recounted with amiable ardor his season as a wide receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and put the Gophers’ 10-2 season into some perspective that boggles the mind. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "John Shipley: 97 firsts? Forget it, P.J. Fleck is rolling," 12 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of amiable

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for amiable

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

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Time Traveler for amiable

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The first known use of amiable was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

1 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amiable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amiable. Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for amiable

amiable

adjective
How to pronounce amiable (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of amiable

: friendly and pleasant

amiable

adjective
ami·​a·​ble | \ ˈā-mē-ə-bəl How to pronounce amiable (audio) \

Kids Definition of amiable

: having a friendly and pleasant manner

Other Words from amiable

amiably \ -​blē \ adverb She greeted us amiably.

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More from Merriam-Webster on amiable

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for amiable

Spanish Central: Translation of amiable

Nglish: Translation of amiable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amiable for Arabic Speakers

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