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[kawr-juh l or, esp. British, -dee-uh l] /ˈkɔr dʒəl or, esp. British, -di əl/
courteous and gracious; friendly; warm:
a cordial reception.
invigorating the heart; stimulating.
sincere; heartfelt:
a cordial dislike.
Archaic. of or relating to the heart.
a strong, sweetened, aromatic alcoholic liquor; liqueur.
a stimulating medicine.
anything that invigorates or exhilarates.
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin cordiālis, equivalent to Latin cordi- (stem of cor) heart + -ālis -al1
Related forms
cordially, adverb
cordialness, noun
precordial, adjective
quasi-cordial, adjective
quasi-cordially, adverb
supercordial, adjective
supercordially, adverb
supercordialness, noun
uncordial, adjective
uncordially, adverb
uncordialness, noun
1. affectionate, genial. 2. cheering. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cordial
  • So negotiate in a cordial, realistic manner that won't make them wish they had never offered you the job in the first place.
  • Companies need to cultivate cordial relations with local potentates, too.
  • Provocative and fascinating, but cordial and respectful discussions.
  • He recently sounds decent but he's only been cordial since about two months ago.
  • It's somewhat of a skill to stay cordial with each other in a disagreement.
  • Be cordial to everyone else, even if you don't agree with them.
  • cordial wrote down the truck's license plate number and gave it to the police.
  • He ended the day at a cordial meeting with community leaders and elected officials.
  • Additionally, please bear in mind that cordial and safe relations between dog-owners and non-owners makes everyone happy.
  • She was cordial, remaining nearby in the living room throughout the interview, and did not interrupt.
British Dictionary definitions for cordial


warm and friendly: a cordial greeting
giving heart; stimulating
a drink with a fruit base, usually sold in concentrated form and diluted with water before being drunk: lime cordial
another word for liqueur
Derived Forms
cordially, adverb
cordialness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin cordiālis, from Latin cor heart
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 cordial

late 14c., "of the heart," from Middle French cordial, from Medieval Latin cordialis "of or for the heart," from Latin cor (genitive cordis) "heart" (see heart). Meaning "heartfelt, from the heart" is mid-15c. The noun is late 14c., originally "medicine, food, or drink that stimulates the heart." Related: Cordiality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for cordial

a liqueur (q.v.); though the term cordial was formerly used for only those liqueurs that were thought to have a tonic or stimulating quality due to the medicinal components of their flavourings, the terms cordial and liqueur are now used interchangeably.

Learn more about cordial with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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