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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Johnson was cordial during the meeting, but a letter in his files showed that his mind was set before the women even got there. National Geographic, "Episode 7: The Glass Stratosphere," 23 July 2019 Nowadays, race relations are mostly cordial in Limestone County but for a few rare blowups. The Courier-Journal, "In McConnell’s boyhood town where his family owned slaves, the reparations debate thrives," 13 July 2019 Since coming into office, Trump officials have had a generally cordial relationship with the British diplomatic corps in Washington. William Booth, BostonGlobe.com, "UK moves to limit fallout from envoy’s leaked memos on Trump," 8 July 2019 Related Though the first debate was mostly cordial, a few tiffs broke out—and some of them continued after the event. Tarini Parti And Eliza Collins, WSJ, "Offstage in Miami, Democratic Candidates Search for Spotlight," 27 June 2019 President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong Un have toned down hostile rhetoric, shook hands in Singapore in June 2018 and were on cordial terms even after their second summit broke down in Hanoi in February. Jon Herskovitz, Fortune, "Why the Trump-Kim Nuclear Show Is Set for Act Three," 20 June 2019 These Sox are affable but edgy, cordial yet combative — much the way Renteria is. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Rick Renteria earns the right to lead White Sox to the next level — a chance he didn’t get with the Cubs," 17 June 2019 Thanks to all three of them for producing an interesting and cordial discussion that was a treat to follow. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘How Equality and Inequality Shape Birds and Bees’," 9 Nov. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cordial

Listen to Our Podcast about cordial

Statistics for cordial

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cordial

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cordial

What made you want to look up cordial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!