con·​ge·​nial | \ kən-ˈjē-nē-əl How to pronounce congenial (audio) , -ˈjēn-yəl \

Definition of congenial

1a : pleasant especially : agreeably suited to one's nature, tastes, or outlook a congenial atmosphere
b : sociable, genial a congenial host
c : existing or associated together harmoniously
2 : having the same nature, disposition, or tastes : kindred congenial companions

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Other Words from congenial

congenially \ kən-​ˈjē-​nē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce congenial (audio) , -​ˈjēn-​yə-​ \ adverb

The History of Congenial Is Spiritual

According to ancient Roman and Greek mythology, each person at birth was assigned a guardian spirit. The Latin name for this attendant spirit was genius. Two people who get along well together can be thought of as sharing a similar spirit; they might even be described by a word combining the Latin prefix com- (meaning "with, together") and genius. And, indeed, it was this com-genius combination that gave rise in the 17th century to the English word congenial. (The Greek word for the guardian spirit, daimōn, gave us eudaemonia, meaning "well-being" or "happiness," but that word is extremely rare.)

Examples of congenial in a Sentence

She moved on, leaving behind the world of politics for the more congenial sphere of the arts. — Amy Fine Collins, Vanity Fair, March 2001 Jackson may walk up to home plate with the cool strut of a superstar, but off the field he is warm and congenial. — Peter Gammons, Sports Illustrated, 12 June 1989 It turned out to be, for me, one of the most congenial and, in a way, lustrous gatherings that I have ever had in the White House. — Lady Bird Johnson 4 May 1965, in A White House Diary1970 The town is a congenial place for raising children. We studied in the congenial atmosphere of the library. He found the work to be congenial. She was congenial and easygoing.
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Recent Examples on the Web Working side by side with congenial people might make your work go more smoothly. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Jan. 4, 2021: Cancer, keep the ball rolling; Pisces, your steadiness is an asset," 4 Jan. 2021 Avec, the Publican, Big Star and others — whose rooms were louder but more congenial and whose cooking was brawnier and more direct. New York Times, "The Restaurants We’ve Lost," 28 Dec. 2020 In a congenial end-of-year piece, Knight takes us down the rabbit hole of Baldessari’s erudite yet humorous thinking. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Arts: Chicano Moratorium route enters National Register of Historic Places," 12 Dec. 2020 Though protests over coronavirus protections erupted outside the state Capitol, negotiations inside the building remained relatively congenial. oregonlive, "Gov. Brown discusses Oregon’s coronavirus response and Monday’s special legislative session: Watch live," 22 Dec. 2020 The congenial, sharp game show host had gained millions of fans over his nearly 40 years of hosting the program. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "5 notable people we lost in 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 The congenial do-gooder, who speaks slowly due to a misdiagnosed condition at birth, is a familiar figure to local charities. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Vista philanthropist turns $3,000 into $19,000 in gifts," 9 Dec. 2020 Even pre-pandemic, the Ted Lasso writers often discussed our nation's prevailing attitude of pessimism, which helped inform the show's ultra-congenial central character. Sarah Rodman,, "Jason Sudeikis and his Ted Lasso costars on making the feel-good TV hit of 2020," 27 Nov. 2020 Rats found dumps congenial, dug burrows in them, and lived out their lives gnawing on trash and making little rats. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "What Would You Do with the Last Box of .22 Ammunition?," 27 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'congenial.' 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 congenial

circa 1625, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for congenial

com- + genius

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Time Traveler for congenial

Time Traveler

The first known use of congenial was circa 1625

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Congenial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for congenial


How to pronounce congenial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of congenial

somewhat formal
: suitable or appropriate
: pleasant and enjoyable
: very friendly


con·​ge·​nial | \ kən-ˈjē-nyəl How to pronounce congenial (audio) \

Kids Definition of congenial

1 : alike or sympathetic in nature, disposition, or tastes
2 : existing together in harmony “We are quite as congenial as flies and honey.”— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz
3 : tending to please or satisfy congenial work

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