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 The congenial Harris, as popular in rival Browns Country as the IRS, was among the legendary players announcing the selections on the second day of the NFL draft. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "On NFL draft’s second day, many teams pass on selecting quarterbacks," 30 Apr. 2021 In total fairness to the congenial Fowler, he is energized by the new opportunity. Roy S. Johnson |, al, "‘No secrets’ says Hoover schools president after no public interview for school superintendent," 28 Apr. 2021 Enjoy enriching experiences with a congenial companion and focus on concrete accomplishments. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 15, 2021: Taurus, you feel free as a bird; Libra, avoid acting in haste," 15 Apr. 2021 Reporters found him helpful, congenial and entertaining, The Washington Post reported during the DeLorean trial. New York Times, "Howard Weitzman, Defense Lawyer for the Famous, Dies at 81," 11 Apr. 2021 The prosecution followed and used one of its strikes to dismiss the day's second jury candidate, a father whose passion for competitive fishing made for congenial small talk with the attorneys. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Day ends with 14th juror chosen, one more needed in Derek Chauvin murder trial," 22 Mar. 2021 This can be achieved with congenial collaboration and earnest engagement that holds student wellbeing as a priority. Steve Schering,, "Q&A: OPRF High School board candidates in April 6 election discuss challenges facing district," 16 Mar. 2021 This would be a national savings and payments platform up-to-date with the 21st century – as well as with Sweden and China, which are already doing something much like this, in forms congenial to their specific governance and financial systems. Robert Hockett, Forbes, "‘Building Back Better’ Phase Two – Time Now To Jumpstart Domestic Production," 3 Mar. 2021 Exchanges behind closed-doors appear to have been more congenial, however. James Griffiths, CNN, "Alaska dispute between US and Chinese officials an inauspicious start to a new era of relations," 19 Mar. 2021

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

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The first known use of congenial was circa 1625

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Last Updated

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Congenial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for congenial



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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