gre·​gar·​i·​ous | \gri-ˈger-ē-əs \

Definition of gregarious 

1a : tending to associate with others of one's kind : social gregarious animals

b : marked by or indicating a liking for companionship : sociable is friendly, outgoing, and gregarious

c : of or relating to a social group

2a of a plant : growing in a cluster or a colony

b : living in contiguous nests but not forming a true colony used especially of wasps and bees

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Other Words from gregarious

gregariously adverb
gregariousness noun

Did You Know?

When you're one of the herd, it's tough to avoid being social. The etymology of gregarious reflects the social nature of the flock; in fact, the word grew out of the Latin noun grex, meaning "herd" or "flock." When it first began appearing in English texts in the 17th century, "gregarious" was applied mainly to animals, but by the 18th century it was being used for social human beings as well. By the way, "grex" gave English a whole flock of other words too, including "egregious," "aggregate," "congregate," and "segregate."

Examples of gregarious in a Sentence

[J.P.] Morgan was attracted to bright, self-possessed women who met him on his own ground, felt at home in society, and shared his gregarious instincts and sybaritic tastes. — Jean Strouse, New Yorker, 29 Mar. 1999 … the gregarious trade unionist whose back-slapping mateyness helped make him Australia's most popular politician. Time, 3 Apr. 1989 As it is a night of many parties, the more social, the more gregarious, the more invited of the guests are wondering whether to go to Harley Street first, or whether to arrive there later, after sampling other offerings. — Margaret Drabble, Harper's, July 1987 She is outgoing and gregarious. a gregarious child who ran up to every person on the playground and wanted to be their friend
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Recent Examples on the Web

Image Tireless and gregarious, Hosack was a part of that productive generation of the first years of the new Republic. Marta Mcdowell, New York Times, "Deep Below Rockefeller Center Lies a Legendary Botanical Garden," 25 June 2018 Bart was bigger than life even as a toddler: with an adorable head of curls, big brown eyes that didn't miss a trick and a gregarious personality. Hartford Courant,, "Barton W. Blau," 7 June 2018 Above all, there is the nearly uniform quality of the boys’ gregarious charm, which would have made them ideal camera subjects even under less emotionally fraught circumstances. Justin Chang,, "'Three Identical Strangers' is a riveting account of identical triplets separated at birth," 28 June 2018 But while seemingly fearless, gregarious and quick with a joke, Ross wasn’t known to speak much about himself. Gary Warth,, "Water Man Dave's personal hardship inspired life of caring," 10 Apr. 2018 Reilly was known for his gregarious personality, his Mardi Gras parties, and his ever-present golden retriever. James Sullivan,, "In a sentimental mood at Ryles," 27 June 2018 Billy Sammeth, the gregarious personal manager who shepherded the careers of multiplatform superstars Cher and Joan Rivers while also working with the likes of Donny Osmond, Olivia Newton-John and K.C. and the Sunshine Band, died Monday. Deborah Wilker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Billy Sammeth, Longtime Manager of Cher and Joan Rivers, Dies at 66," 18 June 2018 Food articles often feature gregarious hosts with platters full of crowd-pleasing goodies, recipes to feed six (or more), or elaborate desserts to wow invading relatives. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Table for 1: For solo diners, cooking at home offers many perks," 12 July 2018 Fun-loving and gregarious, Gerry loved coaching and sponsoring neighborhood football/baseball teams and treating the players to pizza following games. Hartford Courant,, "Gerald B. Brown," 8 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gregarious.' 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 gregarious

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gregarious

Latin gregarius of a flock or herd, from greg-, grex flock, herd

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Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for gregarious

The first known use of gregarious was in 1668

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More Definitions for gregarious



English Language Learners Definition of gregarious

: enjoying the company of other people

biology : tending to live in groups


gre·​gar·​i·​ous | \gri-ˈger-ē-əs \

Kids Definition of gregarious

1 : enjoying the company of other people

2 : tending to live in a flock, herd, or community rather than alone gregarious insects

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