gre·​gar·​i·​ous | \ gri-ˈger-ē-əs How to pronounce gregarious (audio) \

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 In temperament, ideology and style on the campaign trail, the gregarious, gaffe-prone, relatively moderate Mr. Biden and the disciplined, democratic socialist Mr. Sanders could not be more different. New York Times, "Biden and Sanders Differ on Foreign Policy. They’re Happy to Tell You So.," 6 Jan. 2020 Fitch was not kind to Barry during their time together, seemingly frustrated by Barry’s gregarious personality and slight frame. Gary Washburn,, "Bill Fitch’s last coaching job may have been his best," 4 Sep. 2019 Despite the diagnosis, Rosie continued to be outgoing and gregarious. Angela Blakely, USA TODAY, "Girl with alopecia creates confidence for other children with head scarves," 19 Dec. 2019 Uniformed waiters in blue workshirts walk the floor like tradespeople, gregarious and free of formality. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery at the Pearl keeps its 3-star sense of direction," 24 Oct. 2019 Liked by everyone and loved by those closest to him for his gregarious and selfless nature., "Deaths in South Florida: 10/11," 11 Oct. 2019 Her diverse accomplishments and friendships were enabled by her boundless energy and gregarious personality., "Lillian Mosa," 3 Nov. 2019 Pictures of Graham depict a gregarious-looking man with a big smile framed by a goatee and mustache, posing happily with friends or grilling racks of ribs. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "‘He’s going to be irreplaceable’; Veteran D.C. firefighter who maintained apparatus dies of heart attack," 28 Oct. 2019 Meier was a gregarious immigrant in his late 30s who ran a deli in New York City. Greg Miller, Smithsonian, "The Untold Story of the Secret Mission to Seize Nazi Map Data," 23 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for gregarious

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The first known use of gregarious was in 1668

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gregarious.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for gregarious


How to pronounce gregarious (audio)

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 How to pronounce gregarious (audio) \

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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Comments on gregarious

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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