1

cordial

adjective cor·dial \ ˈkȯr-jəl \

Definition of cordial

1 a :showing or marked by warm and often hearty friendliness, favor, or approval
  • a cordial welcome
:politely pleasant and friendly
  • two nations maintaining cordial relations
b :sincerely or deeply felt
  • a cordial dislike for each other
2 :tending to revive, cheer, or invigorate
  • bottles full of excellent cordial waters
  • —Daniel Defoe
3 obsolete :of or relating to the heart :vital

cordially

play \ˈkȯrj-lē, ˈkȯr-jə-\ adverb

cordialness

play \ˈkȯr-jəl-nəs\ noun

cordial was our Word of the Day on 04/13/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of cordial in a Sentence

  1. … Conrad Black was cordial and not the least rumbustious. —Calvin TrillinNew Yorker17 Dec. 2001
  2. Though its chairman, Charles Obi, was cordial to him, the others made it clear that they didn't want him. —Ishmael ReedJapanese by Spring1993
  3. My reception was cordial enough … —Robert Frost 7 Jan. 1913, in Selected Letters of Robert Frost, edited by Lawrance Thompson1964
  4. Mr. Price now received his daughter; and having given her a cordial hug, and observed that she was grown into a woman … —Jane AustenMansfield Park1814
  5. We received a cordial greeting from our hostess at the party.

  6. The two nations have maintained cordial relations.

Recent Examples of cordial from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cordial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Cordial shares the Latin root cor with "concord" (meaning "harmony") and "discord" (meaning "conflict"). Cor means "heart," and each of these "cor" descendants has something to do with the heart, at least figuratively. "Concord," which comes from "con-" (meaning "together" or "with") plus "cor," suggests that one heart is with another. "Discord" combines the prefix dis- (meaning "apart") with "cor," and it implies that hearts are apart. When "cordial" was first used in the 14th century, it literally meant "of or relating to the heart," but this sense has not been in use since the 17th century. Today anything that is "cordial," be it a welcome, a hello, or an agreement, comes from the heart in a figurative sense.

Origin and Etymology of cordial

Middle English, from Medieval Latin cordialis, from Latin cord-, cor heart — more at heart

Synonym Discussion of cordial

gracious, cordial, affable, genial, sociable mean markedly pleasant and easy in social intercourse. gracious implies courtesy and kindly consideration.
    • the gracious award winner thanked her colleagues
cordial stresses warmth and heartiness.
    • our host was cordial as he greeted us
affable implies easy approachability and readiness to respond pleasantly to conversation or requests or proposals.
    • though wealthy, she was affable to all
genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality.
    • a genial companion with a ready quip
sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others.
    • sociable people who enjoy entertaining

2

cordial

noun cor·dial \ ˈkȯr-jəl \

Definition of cordial

1 :a stimulating medicine or drink
2 :liqueur

Examples of cordial in a Sentence

  1. It was fortunate that the boys never tested Alyce's magic, for the bottle she shook so fiercely at them was naught but blackberry cordial she was to deliver to Old Anna … —Karen CushmanThe Midwife's Apprentice1995
  2. A boy is said to become a man when he can sip the 140-proof anise-seed cordial without wincing. —Paul L. MontgomeryNew York Times6 Sept. 1965
  3. "In this bottle," he said, "there is a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire-flowers that grow in the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends are hurt, a few drops of this will restore you. —C. S. LewisThe Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe1950

Recent Examples of cordial from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cordial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of cordial

Other Alcoholic Beverage Terms


CORDIAL Defined for English Language Learners

cordial

adjective

Definition of cordial for English Language Learners

  • : politely pleasant and friendly


cordial

noun

Definition of cordial for English Language Learners

  • : a sweet alcoholic drink

  • : a drink of heavy fruit juice that is mixed with water


CORDIAL Defined for Kids

cordial

adjective cor·dial \ ˈkȯr-jəl \

Definition of cordial for Students

:warm and friendly
  • a cordial host

cordially

adverb
  • You are cordially invited.

Word Root of cordial

The Latin word cor, meaning “heart,” and its form cordis give us the root cord. Words from the Latin cor have something to do with the heart. When there is discord, or disagreement, hearts are apart. When there is accord, or agreement, hearts have moved together. Anything that is cordial, such as a welcome, comes from the heart.


Medical Dictionary

cordial

noun cor·dial \ ˈkȯr-jəl \

medical Definition of cordial

:an invigorating and stimulating medicine, food, or drink


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