cordial

adjective
cor·​dial | \ ˈkȯr-jəl How to pronounce cordial (audio) \

Definition of cordial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

cordial

noun

Definition of cordial (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : a stimulating medicine or drink

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Other Words from cordial

Adjective

cordially \ ˈkȯrj-​lē How to pronounce cordially (audio) , ˈkȯr-​jə-​ \ adverb
cordialness \ ˈkȯr-​jəl-​nəs How to pronounce cordialness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for cordial

Adjective

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

Did You Know?

Adjective

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.

Examples of cordial in a Sentence

Adjective … Conrad Black was cordial and not the least rumbustious. — Calvin Trillin, New Yorker, 17 Dec. 2001 Though its chairman, Charles Obi, was cordial to him, the others made it clear that they didn't want him. — Ishmael Reed, Japanese by Spring, 1993 My reception was cordial enough … — Robert Frost 7 Jan. 1913, in Selected Letters of Robert Frost, edited by Lawrance Thompson1964 Mr. Price now received his daughter; and having given her a cordial hug, and observed that she was grown into a woman … — Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814 We received a cordial greeting from our hostess at the party. The two nations have maintained cordial relations. Noun 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 Cushman, The Midwife's Apprentice, 1995 A boy is said to become a man when he can sip the 140-proof anise-seed cordial without wincing. — Paul L. Montgomery, New York Times, 6 Sept. 1965 "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. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, 1950
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Body camera footage of the dispute showed Phillips acting cordial with the officer, Reynolds said. Arkansas Online, "Video details final steps of Northwest Arkansas killer," 14 Dec. 2019 Her statement represents a startling break in the Warren-Sanders relationship, which has largely been cordial and mutually beneficial. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Warren Says Sanders Told Her a Woman Could Not Win the Presidency," 13 Jan. 2020 The backlash back home was sufficiently vociferous that president Muhammadu Buhari was forced to visit South Africa to revive cordial diplomatic relations between the two countries. Bheki Mngomezulu, Quartz Africa, "The awkward history behind Nigeria and South Africa’s turbulent relationship," 9 Oct. 2019 So really the only answer is to keep a polite distance from the husband to the extent possible in your friend group and remain cordial and in unspoken solidarity with the wife. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: When a married guy keeps hitting on you, do you tell the wife?," 13 Sep. 2019 All remained cordial, and in less than an hour, their 40 chickens, five ducks and two turkeys were dead. Jaclyn Cosgrove, latimes.com, "To stop a virus, California has euthanized more than 1.2 million birds. Is it reckless or necessary?," 7 June 2019 Chaudry said her organization spoke with College Board officials Wednesday, describing the conversation as cordial and respectful. Washington Post, "College Board to expand testing options for AP exam on Muslim holiday," 14 Nov. 2019 In a departure from labor negotiations of 2004-05 and 2012-13 that were full of rancor, Fehr has called this round cordial and pleasant. BostonGlobe.com, "Most read on BostonGlobe.com," 17 Sep. 2019 The entrance to Delicatessen, in a rear courtyard of a decrepit Khrushchev-era apartment block, didn't prepare me for the pristinely retro interior or the brilliant cocktails and nalivki (fruit and berry infusions) served in antique cordial glasses. Alex Halberstadt, Town & Country, "The Surreal Thrill of Moscow Dining," 9 Oct. 2015 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun From Maple Brie and cheddar apple shooters to meatball sliders, French Macaroons to chocolate mousse cordials, the food was meant to engage the senses and sensibilities. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "A Seasonal Tradition Tastefully Done," 4 Dec. 2019 Liqueurs, cordials and Irish and Scotch whiskies will also face tariffs of 25%. CBS News, "U.S. slaps new tariffs on European wine, whiskey, planes and much more," 18 Oct. 2019 Beverages: Tea, coffee, Irish and Scotch whiskies, liqueurs and cordials, wine, brandy, vodka and tequila. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "When new, higher tariffs are scheduled to start on Chinese imports and what may cost more," 23 Aug. 2019 Krasi serves small plates paired with an all-natural Greek wine list; downstairs, Hecate serves cocktails, cordials, and aperitifs. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Say hello to Shy Bird and soon-to-arrive Orfano," 21 Aug. 2019 They quick-freeze berries or make jams, vinegars and cordials. Rebecca Powers, Washington Post, "On your next summer vacation, look for berried treasure," 13 Aug. 2019 Sugarfina has become well-known for their alcohol-infused and inspired candies like Champagne bears, single malt scotch cordials peach bellini gummies. Staff Reports, Houston Chronicle, "Sweet treat specialist Sugarfina coming to Market Street," 5 July 2018 Marty Pearl/Special to Courier Journal, Courier Journal The classroom was set with samplers of cordials and simple syrups. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Copper & Kings wants to help low-wage workers. How? Superb cocktails," 29 May 2018 The surviving members of Led Zeppelin are in talks to launch a quality malt liquor called Dazed and Confused, while Wild Thing malt liquors, inspired by the Troggs, and Good Vibrations cordials are also in some stage of development. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "You Gotta Serve Somebody Dylan’s Whiskey," 3 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of cordial

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for cordial

Adjective

Middle English cordiall "of the heart, cardiac, invigorating, deeply felt," borrowed from Medieval Latin cordiālis, from Latin cord-, cor "heart" + -iālis -ial

Noun

Middle English, "stimulating substance," borrowed from Medieval Latin cordiāle, noun derivative from neuter of cordiālis "of the heart, invigorating" — more at cordial entry 1

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Time Traveler for cordial

Time Traveler

The first known use of cordial was in the 14th century

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Statistics for cordial

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cordial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cordial. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cordial

cordial

adjective
How to pronounce cordial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cordial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: politely pleasant and friendly

cordial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cordial (Entry 2 of 2)

US : a sweet alcoholic drink
British : a drink of heavy fruit juice that is mixed with water

cordial

adjective
cor·​dial | \ ˈkȯr-jəl How to pronounce cordial (audio) \

Kids Definition of cordial

: warm and friendly a cordial host

Other Words from cordial

cordially adverb You are cordially invited.

cordial

noun
cor·​dial | \ ˈkȯr-jəl How to pronounce cordial (audio) \

Medical Definition of cordial

: an invigorating and stimulating medicine, food, or drink

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Comments on cordial

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