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[kuh n-jen-i-tl] /kənˈdʒɛn ɪ tl/
of or relating 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.
Origin of congenital
1790-1800; < Latin congenit(us) connate (con- con- + geni-, variant stem of gignere to give birth + -tus past participle suffix) + -al1
Related forms
congenitally, adverb
congenitalness, noun
noncongenital, adjective
1. See innate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for congenital


denoting or relating to any nonhereditary condition, esp an abnormal condition, existing at birth: congenital blindness
(informal) complete, as if from birth: a congenital idiot
Derived Forms
congenitally, adverb
congenitalness, noun
Word Origin
C18: from Latin congenitus born together with, from genitus born, from gignere to bear, beget
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 congenital

"existing from birth," 1796, from Latin congenitus, from com- "together, with" (see com-) + genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget" (see genus). The sense formerly belonged to congenial. Related: Congenitally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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congenital in Medicine

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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congenital in Science
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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congenital in Culture
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 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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