congenial

adjective
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

Jason Lively, who was 13 and played the son of Wood’s and Walken’s characters, remembers the set as a congenial place. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "The True Story of the Lost Sci-Fi Movie "Brainstorm," Natalie Wood’s Last Film," 21 Dec. 2018 What began as a way to feel better ended up making both women stars — at least among the tight, congenial subset of home bakers who refer to themselves as cookiers. Alison Roman, The Seattle Times, "‘We are all connected by cookies’: A tribe with a bond stronger than royal icing," 12 Dec. 2018 In Truman, the scholar found his most congenial subject. James Grant, WSJ, "Robert H. Ferrell, a Historian of Breadth and Clarity," 17 Aug. 2018 Climate change could be a factor: warmer waters, up to a certain point, are congenial to algal growth. Kate Furby, The Seattle Times, "Red tide algae’s deadly toll on sea life has triggered a state of emergency in Florida," 14 Aug. 2018 Both also feature incredibly pleasant ex-wives encouraging those stars to pursue a relationship with the film’s romantic lead, which feels very congenial and warm. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Jason Statham and a colossal shark can’t save The Meg from a lifeless existence," 9 Aug. 2018 Despite the property's illustrious past—it was built in 1864 as a summer house for a member of the royal court—Beauchemin and De Laat have transformed the palatial space into a cozy and congenial abode. Gisela Williams, ELLE Decor, "Going Dutch," 15 May 2012 The service at Oskar’s is tableside and as casual and congenial as the atmosphere. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Oskar's fills a food void in Louisville we didn't know we had | Review," 4 July 2018 White House officials insisted the encounters were congenial. New York Times, "Trump’s Blasts Upend G-7, Alienating Oldest Allies," 9 June 2018

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

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for congenial

The first known use of congenial was circa 1625

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More Definitions for congenial

congenial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of congenial

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

congenial

adjective
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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