con·​gru·​ous ˈkäŋ-grü-əs How to pronounce congruous (audio)
: being in agreement, harmony, or correspondence
Their achievements were congruous with their abilities.
: conforming to the circumstances or requirements of a situation : appropriate
… a congruous room to work in …George Bernard Shaw
: marked or enhanced by harmonious agreement among constituent elements
a congruous theme
congruously adverb
congruousness noun

Did you know?

Congruous has been used in English since at least 1599, when it appeared in the following description: "All the parts of his bodie were in good proportion, and congruous as a man could wish." It has remained more or less true to its Latin roots: it is derived from Latin congruus, an adjective that comes from the verb "congruere," which means "to come together" or "to agree." Another familiar "congruere" descendant in English is "congruent," which first appeared at least a century earlier with the same meaning as "congruous." We also acquired "congrue," a verb meaning "to be in harmony" or "to agree," from "congruere," but it has since become obsolete.

Examples of congruous in a Sentence

the congruous layout of the mansion's formal gardens conveys a sense of both grandeur and intimacy when performing his official duties, the president must be dressed in clothes that are congruous with his high position
Recent Examples on the Web On the pool deck, a minimalist railing acts as a congruous border to this backyard retreat. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 24 May 2023 Dripping noses, sneezes, and a stressful mission did not make for congruous relations with Mission Control. Ben Evans, Discover Magazine, 5 Jan. 2023 Studies show that subjects respond more quickly when the word and the image are congruous—that is, if both are pleasant or unpleasant. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Discover Magazine, 13 May 2012 Women organize into efficient and congruous guilds. Hillary Kelly, The Atlantic, 16 June 2022 To speak of the Los Angeles riots, therefore, is to speak of dozens of events involving multiple cities and counties, an overlapping but not always congruous set of memories and perspectives that do not neatly map onto one another. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 And getting quantum computers to outlearn traditional machines means finding AI problems that boil down to mathematical operations congruous with quantum physics. Quanta Magazine, 4 Feb. 2022 These capabilities may have served those departments well in the moment, but not in a congruous way with other parts of the organization. Omri Kohl, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 To be fully embedded in the DNA and fabric of the organization, the tone at the top must be consistent and congruous with what is going on in the rest of the organization. Patricia Lenkov, Forbes, 10 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'congruous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin congruus, from congruere to come together, agree

First Known Use

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of congruous was in 1580


Dictionary Entries Near congruous

Cite this Entry

“Congruous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​gru·​ous ˈkäŋ-grə-wəs How to pronounce congruous (audio)
: being in agreement or harmony
: suitable sense 2, appropriate
a congruous place to work
congruously adverb
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