adjective (1)
ge·​nial | \ ˈjēn-yəl How to pronounce genial (audio) , ˈjē-nē-əl \

Definition of genial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : marked by or freely expressing sympathy or friendliness your genial host
b : favorable to growth or comfort : mild genial sunshine
2 : displaying or marked by genius genial insights
3 obsolete : of or relating to marriage or generation … the genial bed …— John Milton
4 obsolete : inborn, native


adjective (2)
ge·​ni·​al | \ ji-ˈnī(-ə)l How to pronounce genial (audio) \

Definition of genial (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the chin

Other Words from genial

Adjective (1)

geniality \ ˌjē-​nē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce genial (audio) , jēn-​ˈyal-​ \ noun
genially \ ˈjēn-​yə-​lē How to pronounce genial (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for genial

Adjective (1)

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?

Genial derives from the Latin adjective genialis, meaning "connected with marriage." When genial was first adopted into English in the mid-16th century, it meant "of or relating to marriage," a sense that is now obsolete. Genialis was formed in Latin by combining the -alis suffix (meaning "of, relating to, or characterized by") with genius, meaning "a person's disposition or inclination." As you may have guessed, Latin genius is the ancestor of the English word genius, meaning "extraordinary intellectual power"—so it's logical enough that genial eventually developed a sense (possibly influenced by the German word genial) of "marked by very high intelligence."

First Known Use of genial

Adjective (1)

circa 1547, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adjective (2)

1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for genial

Adjective (1)

Latin genialis, from genius

Adjective (2)

Greek geneion chin, from genys jaw — more at chin

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Time Traveler for genial

Time Traveler

The first known use of genial was circa 1547

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Dictionary Entries Near genial

Genghis Khan



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Cite this Entry

“Genial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for genial


ge·​nial | \ ˈjēn-yəl How to pronounce genial (audio) \

Kids Definition of genial

: cheerful and pleasant a genial host

Other Words from genial

genially \ ˈjēn-​yə-​lē \ adverb


ge·​ni·​al | \ ji-ˈnī(-ə)l How to pronounce genial (audio) \

Medical Definition of genial

: of or relating to the chin

More from Merriam-Webster on genial

Nglish: Translation of genial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of genial for Arabic Speakers


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