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)

1 : liqueur
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

The Chinese government’s inaugural post on Monday was cordial, with the embassy noting the 40th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-Chinese diplomatic relations. Washington Post, "Banned at home, Twitter becomes a new tool for Chinese diplomats abroad," 10 July 2019 Along with beer and wine, the pizzeria serves libations like the Lavender Lady (gin, lavender cordial, lime and sparkling wine); and the Prickly Pear Sour (Pisco Quebranta, prickly pear puree, lime, egg white and bitters). 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. San Diego Union-Tribune, "The Dish: San Diego restaurants scramble up hot new summer menus, libations," 4 July 2019 This sacrifice may help fix both problems: containing unsightly matter and maintaining a cordial relationship with this gentleman. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: What can I say to change the way he blows his nose?," 28 June 2019 What Happens Next: The visit will be cordial and filled with pomp, but don’t expect substantial headlines to emerge from the meeting between Xi and Kim. Ian Bremmer, Time, "The Quick Read About… President Xi Jinping’s Trip to North Korea," 20 June 2019 The Supreme Court is an extremely cordial and formal workplace. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The art of throwing shade in a SCOTUS dissent," 20 June 2019 Ed and Bonnie have always had a good, cordial relationship. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Big Little Lies' Adam Scott on Madeline's huge betrayal, the 'extremely dangerous' Mary Louise," 17 June 2019 Michel Barnier’s greeting is cordial, but with a courtesy that creates a certain distance. Michał Matlak, The New York Review of Books, "‘Nostalgia Serves No Purpose’: An Interview with Michel Barnier," 29 May 2019 Officials from both countries said the talks were cordial and efficient, and the outlines of a deal were in place by the end of Wednesday. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Trump: Some aspects of Mexico deal are still secret," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Yup: At long last, the world finally has vodka shots inside chocolate cordials. Danielle Tullo, Cosmopolitan, "Not a Drill: You Can Now Buy Vodka-Infused Chocolate," 8 Jan. 2018 Sweet Essentials For Detroiters of a certain age, Sydney Bogg was a touchstone, delivering sugar highs in the guise of clusters, cordials, popcorn and many more vehicles. Erin Podolsky, Detroit Free Press, "Valentine's Day: Get a chocolate fix from these 10 metro Detroit craft candy makers," 7 Feb. 2018 But in other categories — such as vodka, rum, cordials, and ready-to-drink cocktails — sales decreased, according to Liquor Control Board data. Mari A. Schaefer, Philly.com, "Alcohol sales are up in Philly. Is the soda tax driving us to drink?," 26 Jan. 2018 Tito's American Mule Bears, SUGARFINA, $9 BUY NOW There's also a non-alcoholic bento box, which replaces the chocolate cordials with Martini Olive Almonds. Danielle Tullo, Cosmopolitan, "Not a Drill: You Can Now Buy Vodka-Infused Chocolate," 8 Jan. 2018 Fine strain into rocks glass and add one large block ice. Garnish with a luxardo cherry wrapped in orange peel and serve with Sugarfina Añejo cordials. Lauren Sheffield, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Boozy Candies You Need At Your Next Party," 1 Sep. 2017

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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Statistics for cordial

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cordial

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

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More Definitions for cordial

cordial

adjective

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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