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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 uncongenial
Historical Examples
  • People who were uncongenial to him have said that he was invariably rude and overbearing.

  • Mark Twain's position on the 'Call' was uncongenial from the start.

  • When the valiant scribe had wrestled with his uncongenial task for half an hour or more, his sister came upon the scene.

    The Golden Shoemaker J. W. Keyworth
  • This is the kind of discord I have to bear, corresponding to your uncongenial company.

    Hortus Inclusus John Ruskin
  • The latter had been so uncongenial in accent and tone that she had hesitated about becoming my instructor on that account.

    Mizora: A Prophecy Mary E. Bradley
  • The twentieth century is uncongenial to anything of that sort.

    The Mystery of the Green Ray William Le Queux
  • Avowed work, even when uncongenial, is far less trying to patience than feigned pleasure.

    Human Intercourse Philip Gilbert Hamerton
  • The few boarding houses were crowded, and with an uncongenial lot as a rule.

    A Wounded Name Charles King
  • But the political and social atmosphere of the South was uncongenial to one born and bred in the free air of Vermont.

  • The whole production appears like a forced and uncongenial effort.

    Due West Maturin Murray Ballou
British Dictionary definitions for uncongenial


/ˌʌnkənˈdʒiːnjəl; -nɪəl/
not friendly, pleasant, or agreeable


/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 uncongenial

1749, from un- (1) "not" + 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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