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 congenially (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 Among Fall River residents, the reaction to the mayor’s departure was less congenial., "Facing federal charges, Fall River mayor steps aside — but eyes a comeback - The Boston Globe," 16 Oct. 2019 The conversation is congenial and does not bring up the criticism that Harris has faced since the launch of her presidential campaign. Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Kamala Harris draws upon background in unveiling criminal justice plan," 9 Sep. 2019 Warren is brash and outspoken, whereas Biden forms congenial, personal relationships with colleagues. Melanie Eversley, Fortune, "Biden and Warren Will Debate Tonight—Here’s What They Have Already Clashed On," 12 Sep. 2019 His opponent was an Italian showroom designer who argued, in a series of otherwise congenial meals in some of London’s best restaurants, that the shelf should be tilted four degrees. David Segal, New York Times, "Can Britain’s Top Bookseller Save Barnes & Noble?," 8 Aug. 2019 After nearly 10 years of the abrasive leadership of Conservative Stephen Harper, Canadians were congenial to the notion of change and were vulnerable to Trudeau’s fresh, upbeat message. David Shribman, Los Angeles Times, "Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is vulnerable in next month’s election," 12 Sep. 2019 The neighborhood also has a congenial community feel. Ian Phillips, ELLE Decor, "Tour This Fashion Designer’s Dark and Atmospheric Milan Apartment," 23 Aug. 2019 The congenial manager, Dayna DiDomenico, helped me out. Steve West,, "Creating a new pinball wizard | Opinion," 23 Aug. 2019 Come prepared to write, read, and critique while building confidence in your own work within a supportive, congenial group of fellow writers., "Community News For The Wethersfield Edition," 22 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for congenial

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for congenial

The first known use of congenial was circa 1625

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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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