con·​ge·​nial | \ kən-ˈjē-nē-əl How to pronounce congenial (audio) , -ˈjēn-yəl \

Definition of congenial

1a : pleasant especially : agreeably suited to one's nature, tastes, or outlook a congenial atmosphere
b : sociable, genial a congenial host
c : existing or associated together harmoniously
2 : having the same nature, disposition, or tastes : kindred congenial companions

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Other Words from congenial

congenially \ kən-​ˈjē-​nē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce congenial (audio) , -​ˈjēn-​yə-​ \ adverb

The History of Congenial Is Spiritual

According to ancient Roman and Greek mythology, each person at birth was assigned a guardian spirit. The Latin name for this attendant spirit was genius. Two people who get along well together can be thought of as sharing a similar spirit; they might even be described by a word combining the Latin prefix com- (meaning "with, together") and genius. And, indeed, it was this com-genius combination that gave rise in the 17th century to the English word congenial. (The Greek word for the guardian spirit, daimōn, gave us eudaemonia, meaning "well-being" or "happiness," but that word is extremely rare.)

Examples of congenial in a Sentence

She moved on, leaving behind the world of politics for the more congenial sphere of the arts. — Amy Fine Collins, Vanity Fair, March 2001 Jackson may walk up to home plate with the cool strut of a superstar, but off the field he is warm and congenial. — Peter Gammons, Sports Illustrated, 12 June 1989 It turned out to be, for me, one of the most congenial and, in a way, lustrous gatherings that I have ever had in the White House. — Lady Bird Johnson 4 May 1965, in A White House Diary1970 The town is a congenial place for raising children. We studied in the congenial atmosphere of the library. He found the work to be congenial. She was congenial and easygoing.
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Recent Examples on the Web The union has also been reluctant to wage public battles, preferring to maintain a more congenial relationship with the studios. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 6 Oct. 2021 Mariano and Spilka have had a largely congenial working relationship since Mariano was elevated to the speaker’s office last December., 3 Oct. 2021 Comedy on the Green puts a congenial spin on social distancing with some seating on blankets and low-slung canvas beach chairs, as well as conventional seats. Ben Crandell,, 30 Sep. 2021 Focus on making your workplace pleasant or pair up with congenial people on projects. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 31 Aug. 2021 The congenial Gutt landed on STP’s radar in 2016, when bassist Robert DeLeo was in Detroit playing with Hollywood Vampire. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 2 Sep. 2021 This group has been extraordinarily close and congenial during Biden`s first seven months. NBC News, 20 Aug. 2021 John’s synagogue of Satan came to stand for all the Arians and other heretics who disagreed with Athanasius, and John’s take-no-prisoners tone was congenial to a bishop who intended to take no prisoners. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Advocates of parents' rights as well as those who fear the extensive reach of government authority will find this observation highly congenial. Noah Feldman Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, 24 June 2021

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

circa 1625, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for congenial

com- + genius

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The first known use of congenial was circa 1625

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Congenial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for congenial



English Language Learners Definition of congenial

: suitable or appropriate
: pleasant and enjoyable
: very friendly


con·​ge·​nial | \ kən-ˈjē-nyəl How to pronounce congenial (audio) \

Kids Definition of congenial

1 : alike or sympathetic in nature, disposition, or tastes
2 : existing together in harmony "We are quite as congenial as flies and honey."— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz
3 : tending to please or satisfy congenial work

More from Merriam-Webster on congenial

Nglish: Translation of congenial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of congenial for Arabic Speakers


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