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 \ -​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 amiable veteran recalled his days as a pool service man, who ran a route that included the Point Loma area. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego fishing provides welcome therapy for military veterans," 28 June 2019 These relationships give the whole book a mythological feeling—a series of amiable Charons guiding our narrator across so many Rivers Styx. Rachel Riederer, Outside Online, "'Underland' Sends a Nature Writer Deep into the Earth," 25 June 2019 From the beginning, Hemsworth and Thompson have an amiable, low-intensity dynamic that keeps the banter from being particularly sharp or witty, and that makes the stakes feel low no matter how the plotline shifts. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Men In Black: International is safe, bland, utterly sincere fun," 12 June 2019 Everyone was amiable and worked in a professional manner. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "New mayor Caroline Wadzeck unveils her vision for Dayton," 4 June 2019 In truth, Camilla, who's known to be quite amiable with the royal press pool, was probably just being friendly to the photographers, but that didn't stop Twitter users from spreading the wink around like wildfire. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Camilla Parker Bowles Becomes Twitter's Favorite Royal After Winking Behind Donald Trump," 4 June 2019 This amiable official awaited me with clusters of keys, an earthly St. Peter ready to admit me to a realm as celestial as any this side of heaven. Bruce Dale, National Geographic, "Adored, neglected, and restored: A 1968 Nat Geo feature explored Notre Dame," 17 Apr. 2019 The father, Gabe Wilson (played by Winston Duke), is an amiable doof; Adelaide, the mother (played by Lupita Nyong’o, who owns this film), is edgy, haunted by memories of something that happened to her at a local funhouse as a girl. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Does Jordan Peele’s Us Live Up to Get Out?," 21 Mar. 2019 With a body like a shopping cart and a face that vaguely resembles Wall-E, Serve looks intentionally amiable. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Postmates’ new autonomous robot wants to deliver your sushi," 17 Dec. 2018

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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Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for amiable

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

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More Definitions for amiable



English Language Learners Definition of amiable

: friendly and pleasant


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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