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[kuh n-jeen-yuh l] /kənˈdʒin yəl/
agreeable, suitable, or pleasing in nature or character:
congenial surroundings.
suited or adapted in spirit, feeling, temper, etc.; compatible:
a congenial couple.
Origin of congenial
1615-25; < Latin con- con- + geni(us) genius + -al1
Related forms
[kuh n-jee-nee-al-i-tee] /kənˌdʒi niˈæl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
congenialness, noun
congenially, adverb
precongenial, adjective
quasi-congenial, adjective
quasi-congenially, adverb
uncongenial, adjective
uncongenially, adverb
uncongeniality, noun
1. favorable, pleasant, complaisant, sympathetic.
1, 2. disagreeable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for congenial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Our meeting consisted in good part of his "kidding" me, because I was lacking in the congenial vices of the caf.

  • I often tell her that they are, after all, her most congenial associates.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • His colleagues on the board were all men of talent and reputation, the association with whom was congenial and gratifying.

  • From the hush of these places, it is congenial to pass into the hushed resorts of business.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • Never was he more thoroughly himself than as a theatrical manager and actor, surrounded by congenial associates.

    Dickens Adolphus William Ward
British Dictionary definitions for congenial


/kənˈdʒiːnjəl; -nɪəl/
friendly, pleasant, or agreeable: a congenial atmosphere to work in
having a similar disposition, tastes, etc; compatible; sympathetic
Derived Forms
congeniality (kənˌdʒiːnɪˈælɪtɪ), congenialness, noun
congenially, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from con- (same) + genial1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for congenial

1620s, "kindred, sympathetic," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + genialis "of birth," thus, "kindred" (see genus). Sense of "agreeable" is first recorded 1711. Related: Congeniality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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