[ kuhn-jen-i-tl ]
See synonyms for: congenitalcongenitally on

  1. of or relating to a condition present at birth, whether inherited or caused by the environment, especially the uterine environment.

  2. having by nature a specified character:a congenital fool.

Origin of congenital

First recorded in 1790–1800; from Latin congenit(us) “inborn, innate” (con- con- + geni-, variant stem of gignere “to give birth” + -tus past participle suffix) + -al1

synonym study For congenital

1. See innate.

Other words from congenital

  • con·gen·i·tal·ly, adverb
  • con·gen·i·tal·ness, noun
  • non·con·gen·i·tal, adjective

Words Nearby congenital Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use congenital in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for 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

Origin of congenital

C18: from Latin congenitus born together with, from genitus born, from gignere to bear, beget

Derived forms of congenital

  • congenitally, adverb
  • congenitalness, noun

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

Scientific definitions for congenital


[ kən-jĕnĭ-tl ]

  1. Existing at or before birth, as a defect or medical condition.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for 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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.