of or pertaining to a condition present at birth, whether inherited or caused by the environment, especially the uterine environment.
having by nature a specified character: a congenital fool.

1790–1800; < Latin congenit(us) connate (con- con- + geni-, variant stem of gignere to give birth + -tus past participle suffix) + -al1

congenitally, adverb
congenitalness, noun
noncongenital, adjective

1. See innate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
congenital (kənˈdʒɛnɪtəl)
1.  denoting or relating to any nonhereditary condition, esp an abnormal condition, existing at birth: congenital blindness
2.  informal complete, as if from birth: a congenital idiot
[C18: from Latin congenitus born together with, from genitus born, from gignere to bear, beget]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"existing from birth," 1796, from L. congenitus, from con- "together, with" + genitus, pp. of gignere "to beget" (see genus). The sense formerly belonged to congenial. Related: Congenitally (1862).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

congenital con·gen·i·tal (kən-jěn'ĭ-tl)

  1. Existing at or before birth usually through heredity, as a disorder.

  2. Acquired at birth or during uterine development usually as a result of environmental influences.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
congenital   (kən-jěn'ĭ-tl)  Pronunciation Key 
Existing at or before birth, as a defect or medical condition.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
congenital [(kuhn-jen-i-tl)]

A descriptive term for a disease or condition that is present at birth. A congenital disease can be either hereditary or acquired.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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