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 Still, Ms Lesser is an engaging and amiable guide to a cultural phenomenon that has swept much of the planet. The Economist, "Ice-cold cases Investigating the mysterious appeal of Scandi noir," 21 May 2020 August and early September offer a plethora of chances to appreciate beautiful things and amiable people, making it a prime time for a staycation or a nice walk. oregonlive, "Horoscope for May 19, 2020: Aries, keep calm and carry on; Libra, don’t overreact," 19 May 2020 But also, the mood of Mirman’s shows — amiable, casual, a bit chummy, as the title Pretty Good Friends suggests — is common. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "He Made Brooklyn Comedy a Scene. But His Life Took a Different Turn.," 7 Apr. 2020 In a famed November 1972 dispatch for Esquire magazine, Nora Ephron painted Friedan as an abrasive, slightly pathetic figure desperate to maintain her influence and Steinem as the amiable, stylish younger woman who became the movement’s public face. Los Angeles Times, "How accurate is ‘Mrs. America’s’ portrayal of Gloria Steinem? We investigated," 24 Apr. 2020 Something must be said for Marianne Williamson, the fluent and amiable evangelical Christian. Conrad Black, National Review, "Send Out the Clowns," 11 Mar. 2020 Full of amiable celebrities (your mom loves former coach Adam Levine), talented singers and playful humor, the series is just entertaining enough to be uncontroversial. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "10 TV shows you can watch with your parents or grandparents in quarantine, without feeling embarrassed," 2 Apr. 2020 Greene said, introducing Mariya to one of the two amiable shop hounds. al, "Delta Bike Project adapts to keep patrons rolling," 27 Mar. 2020 During the wait, amiable talk broke out among us strangers, and even jokes about how Italian bureaucracy can survive the greatest of pandemics. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Investors worry that the U.S. coronavirus plan will be too little, too late," 11 Mar. 2020

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

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Amiable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for amiable


How to pronounce amiable (audio)

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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